CMS Sponsors Web Site Focused On Transition To ICD10 For The Small Practice; 1 – 5 Providers

CMS has a website dedicated to information related to the ICD10 transition for small physician practices.   This site contains formation to assist the small practice for the October 1, 2015 ICD10 transition.   It includes information related to specifics for specialty practices, videos, planning guides for the transition and a schedule of local CMS education events being held around the country.   It is a good resource to consult.

Road to 10: The Small Physician Practice’s Route to ICD-10

EHR Incentive Payments Hit $9 Billion

Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payments reached over $9 billion in November since the program’s start, and are expected to reach $10 billion by the end of 2012.   Many providers will attest to Meaningful Use in December and early 2013, which will be counted for the 2012 reporting periods.

As of October, 26 percent, or 1 out of every 4 Medicare eligible professionals, are considered Meaningful Users of EHRs.  Additionally, 1 out of every 3 Medicare and Medicaid eligible professionals have made a commitment to an EHR, and over 65 percent of eligible hospitals have received an EHR incentive payment.

Data supplied by regional extension centers found that physician practices who adopt EHRs stuggle most with the clinical summary, medication reconciliation, security analysis, patient reminders, and summary care record Meaningful Use requirements.  “We see that this information jives very closely with what we’re seeing in attestation as well,” said Robert Anthony of the CMS Office of eHealth Standards and Services.

For the full story, continue ready here.

Last Chance to Take Section 179 Tax Deduction!

As 2013 draws near, so does your last chance to take the Section 179 Tax Deduction for software and equipment investments made in your practice.  The Section 179 Tax Deduction for 2012 allows you to depreciate 100% of your software and equipment purchase up to $139,000, resulting in significant tax savings.  Practices who go over the $139,000 limit or who suffer a loss in 2012 can take a 50% bonus depreciation.

Here’s how the math breaks down:

  • $139,000 software and equipment purchase (max)
  • @ 35% tax rate
  • = $48,650 Section 179 Tax Deduction ($139k x .35)

In 2013, the limit is set to drop to only $25,000, which could mean an almost $40,000 increase in tax liability.

  • $25,000 (max)
  • @ 35% tax rate
  • = $8,750 Tax Deduction

From 2012 to 2013, there’s almost a $40,000 difference in the available Tax Deduction.

Additionally, practices who invest in Electronic Medical Records software can get a jump start on Meaningful Use before the 2014 rush to implement an EHR before penalties begin.

For more information on Section 179, visit

Disclaimer:  The above is an example for discussion purposes only and does not constitute tax or legal advice.  You should consult your accountant or tax adviser regarding the application to you and your business.

Merge Healthcare Connects with Surescripts for Imaging

Merge Healthcare announced today, November 26th, that they will connect their imaging network with Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability.  This connection will allow hospitals and imaging centers to provide electronic imaging reports to provider EHRs that are connected to the Surescripts Network.  The ability to electronically view imaging results will become increasingly important as Stage 2 Meaningful Use nears for eligible providers and hospitals.

“With Surescripts delivering connectivity solutions that improve the delivery of vital clinical care information between care providers/organizations, and Merge offering premium imaging content, we can help hospitals and imaging centers improve efficiency, reduce costs and most importantly, strengthen care collaboration among referring physicians by delivering radiology reports and image links directly into the physician’s EHR,” said Jeff Surges, CEO of Merge Healthcare

For the full story, continue reading here.

Medicare Finalizes 2013 Physician Fee Schedule

The 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule was finalized last Thursday, November 1st.  According to the 2013 Physician Fee Schedule, family physicians can expect up to a 7% increase in reimbursements.  Other primary care physicians can expect a 3 to 5% increase in Medicare reimbursements.  The majority of the increases come from payments for coordinating a patient’s care after a hospital or nursing facility stay.  The final rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register November 16th.

Under the sustainable growth formula, Medicare physician payments are set to be cut by 27% in 2013 unless Congress intervenes before the end of the year.  With the elections behind us, let’s hope they step in again and delay cuts.  Congress has delayed Medicare payment cuts every year since 2003.

For the full story, continue reading here.

Read the CMS press release here.

5 Hurdles of Meaningful Use Stage 2

Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements include many changes, tighter restrictions, and raised bars from Stage 1 Meaningful Use.  Dan Prevost of Arcadia Solutions, a healthcare consulting firm, highlights the 5 biggest hurdles that providers need to keep in mind when preparing for Stage 2.

1) Structured lab results – No longer an optional requirement, providers will need to have 55 percent of lab results come into their EHR as structured data.  The easiest way to accomplish this measure is with a lab interface.

2) Patient access to health information – Providers will need to implement patient portals to provide patients with access to their health information.

3) Ongoing submission to registries - Stage 1 Meaningful Use only required testing the capability to submit to local and state agencies.  Stage 2 will require that providers have ongoing submission to applicable registries.

4) Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) - Stage 1 CPOE was only required for medication orders.  Stage 2 will require providers to expand order entry to lab and imaging orders.

5) Summary of care referrals - The majority of referrals out of a physician practice still go paper for a number of reasons.  Stage 2 requires that 10 percent of referrals now be transmitted electronically.

For the full story, continue reading here.

Automated Medical Systems Offers Proven Upgrade for Allscripts MyWay™ Users

VALDOSTA, GA – In the wake of Allscripts’ announcement concerning their Allscripts MyWay™ product, Automated Medical Systems and Aprima® are offering a proven upgrade to Allscripts MyWay™ users through our Rescue Program.  Many Allscripts MyWay™ users may not know that Allscripts MyWay™ is built on the source code for the 2008 Aprima product.  Rather than converting to another Allscripts product, disrupting practice workflow, and retraining staff on a new system, Allscripts MyWay™ users can simply upgrade to the current version of Aprima and keep the same look and functionality of their EMR.  Aprima users can also take advantage of many new enhancements since the 2008 version, including hundreds of improvements to the practice management and billing components.

“Ironically, (Allscripts) MyWay™ users can avoid such a massive disruption by switching to another provider instead of another Allscripts product.  Aprima actually provided the original code for the Allscripts MyWay™ system, so we can painlessly upgrade these users to an EMR and PM with the same appearance and functionality,” said Aprima president and CEO Michael Nissenbaum.

Here’s what our Rescue Program has to offer:

  • Free license for license exchange – no need to repurchase licenses
  • Same look and feel plus nearly 1,000 enhancements
  • Minimal learning curve
  • Minimal to no downtime
  • Existing data remains intact; proven upgrade, NOT a conversion
  • Local, U.S.-based support
  • CCHIT and ONC-certified EMR, currently developing product to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements

For more information on how Automated Medical Systems can help your practice, please call 1.800.256.3240 or email

Read the full Allscripts’ announcement at

New Study Links EHRs to Higher Quality Patient Care

A new study published in this month’s issue of The Journal of General Internal Medicine finds a positive correlation between high quality patient care and Electronic Health Record (EHR) usage in physician practices.  The study examined data from 466 physicians in a community setting, finding that physicians using EHRs scored significantly higher on quality measures for diabetes, breast cancer, chlamydia, and colorectal cancer.  A composite score of all measures used in the study showed EHR use was associated with an overall higher quality of care.

“This is one of the first studies to find a positive association between the use of EHRs and quality of care in a typical community-based setting…This increases the generalizability of these findings,” said Lisa M. Kern, MD, the study’s lead and associate professor of public health and medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

For the full story, continue reading here.


Study Shows More Docs to Join Health Info Exchanges, Attest to Meaningful Use

Nearly half of U.S. physician groups plan to join a health information exchange (HIE), according to the 4th Annual U.S. Ambulatory Electronic Health Record & Practice Management (PM) Study conducted by CapSite.

The study also found that 43 percent of physician groups surveyed have successfully attested to Stage 1 of Meaningful Use.  Of those who have attested to Stage 1, some 56 percent have received incentive payments, and 21 percent have not.

Respondents say the most important driver for their EHR purchase is making the practice more efficient (39 percent) and increasing healthcare quality (28 percent).

For the full story, continue reading here.

CCHIT Expects Stage 2 EHR Certification Testing to be More Difficult

Stage 2 Certification Testing requirements will emphasize the delivery of safer patient care according to Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) Executive Director Alisa Ray.  “We are getting feedback that [the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology] has really, really raised the bar this time,” Ray said Monday at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) annual convention.

ONC has called for “safety-enhanced design” in eight EHR functions in its recently published 2014 EHR certification criteria, from order entry to clinical decision support rules.  This push for greater attention to safety comes partially from public criticism of earlier certification methods that merely tested functionality, but mostly from the November 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care.”

For the full story, continue reading here.