Archive | Regulation

Op-Ed: The Boy Who Cried ICD-10

Op-Ed The Boy Who Cried ICD-10The following is a guest contributed post from Bonnie Cassidy, senior director of health information management (HIM) innovation for Nuance.

I used to tell my daughter the scary story that my dad used to tell my family about the “Boy Who Cried Wolf.”  It is the story of a young man who liked to stir up drama with false rumors about a hungry wolf, so much so that when the townspeople were in actual danger, they didn’t believe him.  While most of the health information technology (HIT) world was at the HIMSS15 convention last week, the Senate unanimously voted, 92-8, to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that adjusts Medicare payments to physicians and effectively put an end to a flawed formula for Medicare payments, as well as any ICD-10 implementation delays.  For more than 20 years, and with three official delays, the industry has been crying wolf, but it now appears that the transition to ICD-10 will indeed occur on October 1, 2015.

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Making HIPAA Work for Everyone: Congressional Reps Want Rules Clarity for mHealth Entrepreneurs

Making HIPAA Work for Everyone Congressional Reps Want Rules Clarity for mHealth EntrepreneursAs more businesses move into the mobile health arena, there has been a greater need to improve communication between companies and the federal government.

Now the “Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has pledged to work more closely with mobile health (mHealth) companies to ensure that HIPAA rules are being properly adhered to,” according to HealthITSecurity.

HIPAA, enacted in 1996, stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Its primary purpose is to make it easier for people to keep health insurance, protect the confidentiality and security of personal healthcare information, and help the healthcare industry control administrative costs.

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AMA Not Happy with CMS Medicare & Medicaid ‘Meaningful Use Penalties’

AMA Not Happy with CMS Medicare & Medicaid ‘Meaningful Use Penalties’Medical professionals are smarting at the imposition of “meaningful use penalties” now kicking into gear.

A program of the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the meaningful use provision was approved with the 2009 economic stimulus package. It called for health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records to qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Now, CMS officials say the agency is sending letters to providers notifying them of a 1 percent reduction in Medicare payments for not meeting program criteria. In addition, EHR Intelligence has reported that more than 28,000 eligible professionals will receive a 2 percent reduction for failing to comply with electronic records mandates.

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Lawmakers Say Federal Regulators Are Slacking In the mHealth Arena

Are Federal Regulators Slacking In The mHealth ArenaThe last time documentation on the Health and Human Services (“HHS”) website outlining technical compliance with HIPAA was updated, it was 2006 — a time when mobile apps simply did not exist as they do today.

This is why Reps. Tom Marino (R-Penn.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) have reached out to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to inquire about updates and guidance regarding mHealth apps and mHealth technology.

“We support the privacy protections provided by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), and we recognize that oversight of highly sensitive personal medical info1mation is an important role for HHS,” the letter reads. “In order to make sure that mobile health apps and other companies can in good faith comply with these important protections, we ask that HHS provide clear, easily accessible and up to date regulatory guidance for HIPAA compliance with regard to new technologies.”

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INetU Brings HIPAA Compliance Dashboard to Health 2.0

INetU Brings HIPAA Compliance Dashboard to Health 2.0This week at Health 2.0, INetU — a customer-centric cloud company – showed off its new HIPAA Compliance Dashboard to those in attendance at the conference.

Ahead of the demonstration, mHealthWatch caught up with David Fowler, VP of Marketing at INetU, to discuss his company’s latest offering and the role INetU looks to play in the healthcare space moving forward.

“INetU has over 17 years of experience hosting HIPAA compliant applications and has invested considerably to help healthcare software solution providers comply with all facets of the regulations when it comes to application hosting,” Fowler tells mHealthWatch. “By relying on the INetU cloud environment, healthcare solution providers can more quickly ensure HIPAA compliance without having to outlay huge capital investments in technology and internal expertise.  Furthermore, the trained experts at INetU can act as trusted advisors in understanding new requirements and preparing for architectural changes that could help limit local access to data.”

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Opinion: Sometimes The Best Choice is the Simplest One

Opinion Sometimes The Best Choice is the Simplest OneThe following is a guest contributed post from Dr. Nick van Terheyden, Nuance CMIO.

Over the weekend, CMS announced that the Meaningful Use Stage 2 deadline will be extended through 2016 in order to offer more options and greater flexibility to providers for the certified use of EHRs.  In the interest of full disclosure, I found the timing to be strange— a rule published over a holiday weekend seems an odd choice, particularly when it is being touted as a benefit to the industry and the impact on healthcare provider organizations and clinicians, alike, is monumental.

Unfortunately, I think the additional flexibility allotted by this rule is the latest example of the unintended consequences of health IT regulations.  In an effort to make things easier and give healthcare providers more leeway, they have, in fact, made the situation unnecessarily more complex.
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Mobile App Devs, Companies Want HIPAA to Stop Weighing Them Down

Mobile App Devs, Companies Want HIPAA to Stop Weighing Them DownACT | The App Association — an organization consisting of some 5,000 small- to mid-size app developers and IT firms —  has written a letter to Congress asking for a new version of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

According to Mddionline,  ACT is asking in their letter for the Department of Health and Human Services to “reexamine how health privacy laws are implemented and to remove obstacles that keep innovative mobile technologies from quickly reaching the market.”

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