Meaningful Use in 2016

Don’t miss out on what’s happening in 2016 with Meaningful Use!

Providers that wait until 2016 to review what they need to be doing for meaningful use in 2016 may miss the mark!

Remember that unless you are in your first year of participating in the EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use), providers will be required to attest for the entire calendar year of 2016. Since there are certain measures that require providers to attest that the functionality was enabled the entire reporting period, there is a high risk to missing the mark. It’s all or none when it comes to meaningful use, therefore we are encouraging providers to take time to review the changes and make sure you are on track well before January 1st. Providers that wait may find it is too late!

Get Started before January 1st!

A great resource to review is this recently released overview document of what has changed in the program and what is REQUIRED in 2016:

Providers are also encouraged to keep supporting documentation at the beginning of the reporting period (January 1st) for yes/no attestation measures, for more information review the Supporting Documentation for Audit Tipsheet from CMS.

Tell me more…

Let us help you along the way. We have many resources available on our blog to help answer questions about the EHR Incentive Program and Meaningful Use. Click here to find previous articles.

Need Any Assistance? Our Trainers Can Help.

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Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the Medicare/Medicaid programs are constantly changing, and it is the sole responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of  program requirements by consulting the authorities and documentation found directly at http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/index.html

New Meaningful Use Guide for 2015

New Meaningful Use Guide for 2015

This notice is intended for McKesson Practice Choice Users participating in the EHR Incentive Program.

In response to the recent changes to the Meaningful Use Program (Modified Stage 2), McKesson has released a 2015 Meaningful Use Attestation Guide. This guide is intended to be a companion to information on CMS site as well as details in McKesson Practice Choice’s online Help for past reporting years.

Here’s a preview of what will be discussed in this guide:

Modified Stage 2 Objectives_Mckesson MU Guide 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can access the guide by Clicking Here.

Need More Help?

Check out these other resources available:

 

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Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the Medicare/Medicaid programs are constantly changing, and it is the sole responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of  program requirements by consulting the authorities and documentation found directly at http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/index.html

Important Update on CQM Reporting for 2015

Please take note of the changes to Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) Reporting for 2015:

Providers participating in the EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use)  or electronically reporting for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Program are required to use the 2014 eCQM Specifications for their 2015 calendar year reporting.

Run The Updater On Your Server

This important update is to notify users that McKesson has now released a software patch on 11/4/2015 for Medisoft Clinical, LytecMD, and Practice Partner that will update the CQM reporting tool from the 2013 eCQM specifications to the new 2014 eCQM Specifications. Practices must run the updater on the server to apply the patch.
If there are any questions on running this update, feel free to contact our Support department for further assistance.

Review Your Selected Reporting Measures

Depending on the specific quality measures the provider is reporting, installing the software patch alone may not be enough as a number of the measures require configuration and workflow training in order to ensure the data is being captured in a manner that the report can read the data.
We are advising all providers to both update the software and review the measures they have selected for any changes to the configuration and workflow. A new user guide was released in conjunction with this update which includes all of the details on configuration and reporting.
Access and Download the guide here: CQM Report User’s Guide 2015

Need Any Assistance? Our Trainers Can Help.

If you need assistance with configuration, implementation and training on CQMs we recommend working one-on-one with one of our Certified Trainers. Call us at (888) 799-4777 to get set up with your training.

Meaningful Use 2015 Final Rule Webinar Replay

Meaningful Use: What you need to know about the CMS Final Rule Changes from October 16, 2015.

In mid October, CMS created a new Final Rule to update a portion of the EHR Incentive Program.

We held a webinar on October 29, 2015 to address the changes and show how this impacts your practice if you plan to attest for Meaningful Use.

Need Meaningful Use Help?

If you need additional help, call our office to schedule some time with one of our EHR trainers and we’ll help you make it through. Call us at (888) 799-4777.

Watch The Webinar Replay Here:

It’s a long one, so block out some time to review and grab some popcorn, Redvines, and any other snacks for the show…

Read the full text of the Final Rule as published on the Federal Register website.

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

Meaningful Use 2015 Final Rule Webinar

Meaningful Use: What you need to know about the CMS Final Rule Changes from October 16, 2015.

This webinar was held on October 29, 2015. To watch the recording of the webinar, click here.

Join us for a live webinar hosted by AZCOMP’s EMR and Meaningful Use expert Loree Olsen.

When: Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 10:00AM Pacific

The webinar will last approximately 60 minutes with a Q&A period.

What: Electronic Health Records Incentive Program – Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015-2017

On October 16, 2015, a final rule was published in the Federal Register that changes meaningful use Stage 1 and Stage 2 as we know it. In this webinar we will focus on what you need to know in order to report for 2015.

What we will cover:

  • The adjustment to the reporting period
  • The new outline of objectives
  • Alternate measures and exclusions
  • How these changes impact your practice and workflow

This is a great opportunity to do a self-check to ensure your practice is on track to successfully attest for 2015!

Register for the webinar!

Registration is required, and the webinar is FREE!

 

AZCOMP Technologies, along with McKesson is committed to providing the resources you need to get educated, to avoid penalties, and to earn your EHR incentives.

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

New WebView Setting – Patients Can Only View Lab Results or Notes AFTER Signed by Doctor

There is a new setting in WebView that stops patients from seeing lab results and notes BEFORE the provider.

This is an announcement for all users of Practice Partner, Medisoft Clinical and Lytec MD. You can now set up WebView so that patients will not be able to view lab results or the notes in WebView until after the provider has reviewed and signed them.

If you have upgraded to version 11 of Practice Partner, Medisoft Clinical or Lytec MD, there is a patch available that will turn off viewing of unsigned lab results and notes.

To add this setting, do this:

  1. Make sure that all of your patches are up to date.
    1. To keep your patches up to date, review this User’s Guide.
    2. Or, if you have a support contract with AZCOMP, we’d be happy to help out with this. Give us a call.
  2. Add the following highlighted settings to the WebView section of the ppart.ini file.

[Webview]

Installed=OFF

TimeToSendEmailToPatCons=1200A

ViewUnsignedNotes=OFF

ViewUnsignedLabs=OFF

If you need any assistance in completing any part of this, please contact the AZCOMP support department and we’ll be happy to help you out. Contact us at (888) 799-4777.

 

Updated Stage 2 Summary of Care FAQ Provides Guidance on Measure #3

Updated Information on Measure #3 for Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has notified us of updated information regarding Meaningful Use Stage 2. We understand that this is a concern for many of our providers so we want you to be aware of this latest announcement (read below for the announcement).

In addition to this accouncement, please be aware that we are all still waiting for the final rule on the proposed changes to Meaningful Use Stage 2 that was published April 15, 2015. The public comment period for the proposed changes closed on June 15, 2015 and we are still waiting for the final rule to be published. You can view the summary CMS posted to their website here.

We will continue to keep everyone up to date when we receive any announcements or changes to meaningful use.

Discontinuation of NIST EHR-Randomizer Application; Effective July 1

To keep you updated with information on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, CMS has recently updated an FAQ about Stage 2 Summary of Care objective. We encourage you to stay informed by taking a few minutes to review the new information below.

Question: When reporting on the Summary of Care objective in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program, how can eligible professionals and eligible hospitals meet measure 3 if they are unable to complete a test with the CMS designated test EHR (Randomizer)?

Answer: CMS is aware of difficulties related to systems issues that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) are having in use of the CMS Designated Test EHRs (NIST EHR-Randomizer Application) to meet measure 3 of the Stage 2 Summary of Care objective, therefore, we will be discontinuing this option effective July 1, 2015.

Providers may still meet the Stage 2 Summary of Care objective measure #3 by using one of the following actions:

  1. Exchange a summary of care with a provider or third party who has a different CEHRT as the sending provider as part of the 10% threshold for measure #2 (allowing the provider to meet the criteria for measure #3 without the CMS Designated Test EHR). This exchange may be conducted outside of the EHR reporting period timeframe, but must take place no earlier than the start of the year and no later than the end of the EHR reporting year or the attestation date, whichever occurs first.
  2. If providers do not exchange summary of care documents with recipients using a different CEHRT in common practice, they may retain documentation on their circumstances and attest “Yes” to meeting measure #3 if they have and are using a certified EHR which meets the standards required to send a CCDA (170.202).

For more information, visit the frequently asked questions page on the CMS website.

Have questions? Be sure to ask them in the comments below.

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the EHR Incentive program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the EHR Incentive program requirements.

Five More Facts about ICD-10 from CMS

are you allergic to anything cartoonThe other week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shared five facts dispelling misperceptions about the transition to ICD-10.  We posted about that and added some comments.  In case you missed it, you can read that one here.

Here are five more facts addressing common questions and concerns CMS has heard about ICD-10:

Five More Facts about ICD-10 & comments about them

1. If you cannot submit ICD-10 claims electronically, Medicare offers several options.

CMS encourages you to prepare for the transition and be ready to submit ICD-10 claims electronically for all services provided on or after October 1, 2015. But if you are not ready, Medicare has several options for providers who are unable to submit claims with ICD-10 diagnosis codes due to problems with the provider’s system. Each of these requires that the provider be able to code in ICD-10:

  • Free billing software that can be downloaded at any time from every Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC)
  • In about ½ of the MAC jurisdictions, Part B claims submission functionality on the MAC’s provider internet portal
  • Submitting paper claims, if the Administrative Simplification Compliance Act waiver provisions are met

If you take this route, be sure to allot time for you or your staff to prepare and complete training on free billing software or portals before the compliance date.

2. Practices that do not prepare for ICD-10 will not be able to submit claims for services performed on or after October 1, 2015.

Unless your practice is able to submit ICD-10 claims, whether using the alternate methods described above or electronically, your claims will not be accepted. Only claims coded with ICD-10 can be accepted for services provided on or after October 1, 2015.

3. Reimbursement for outpatient and physician office procedures will not be determined by ICD-10 codes.

Outpatient and physician office claims are not paid based on ICD-10 diagnosis codes but on CPT and HCPCS procedure codes, which are not changing. However, ICD-10-PCS codes will be used for hospital inpatient procedures, just as ICD-9 codes are used for such procedures today. Also, ICD diagnosis codes are sometimes used to determine medical necessity, regardless of care setting.

4. Costs could be substantially lower than projected earlier.

Recent studies by 3M and the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management have found many EHR vendors are including ICD-10 in their systems or upgrades—at little or no cost to their customers. As a result, software and systems costs for ICD-10 could be minimal for many providers.

5. It’s time to transition to ICD-10.

ICD-10 is foundational to modernizing health care and improving quality. ICD-10 serves as a building block that allows for greater specificity and standardized data that can:

  • Improve coordination of a patient’s care across providers over time
  • Advance public health research, public health surveillance, and emergency response through detection of disease outbreaks and adverse drug events
  • Support innovative payment models that drive quality of care
  • Enhance fraud detection efforts

What this means for smaller independent practices (from our perspective)

First – Don’t put yourself in a position where you are scrambling to try and figure out a work-around at the 11th hour.

It is very nice that Medicare offers some options for you in the event that you haven’t gotten your act together in time.  The problem with this is that you will still be scrambling to figure things out, to learn a new system, to learn what crazy hoops you have to jump through just to get by.  This will still cripple your operation.

Don’t rely on some duct tape patch job free software program provided by MAC.  The software may be free but your time is not.  Remember this is free software for sending a claim – period.  It is not a Practice Management software and it will not integrate with Medisoft or Lytec.

In the free program, you won’t be able to post payments, send statements, run reports, track aging, etc.  This means you will still need to log all of the information into your Practice Management software (Medisoft or Lytec), and then rekey it into the “free software” so that you can submit the claim.

If you are already using Medisoft or using Lytec for your billing, your best bet is to continue managing all aspects of your billing from one place in a program that you are already familiar with.

We also recommend getting the ICD-10 ready version early.  Get it early so you can practice and be prepared.  Get it early so you don’t get caught in a tidal wave of other practices who are waiting till the last minute.

 

Second – if you are using the Medisoft or Lytec EMR systems, the ICD-10 billing components are included.

When you use McKesson Practice Choice EMR that is integrated with either Lytec or Medisoft, your ICD-10 ready version of Lytec or Medisoft is included with the EMR subscription.  Same with Lytec MD or Medisoft Clinical EMR systems.  If you have already been using these systems then the ICD-10 features you need are already available to you.

If you are one of the hold-outs for implementing EMR, and if you have not upgraded your PM software, then maybe now is the time to consider implementing an EMR.  Aside from all the regular advantages of implementing EHR (which are many), and also aside from the fact that when you implement a Medisoft or Lytec EHR you will get the ICD-10 features for free, there are many aspects of our EHR systems that will make your life easier with the transition to ICD-10.

Do you want to learn how to make the transition to ICD-10 easier on you?

Click here to opt-in to our ICD-10 webinar recordings.

 

Start Practicing Using Your ICD-10 Codes As Soon As…Now!

Even if you have all of the tools that you need, if you wait until October 1 to start using everything, then it will be a rough transition.  If you haven’t worked out your own kinks, then you could see significant delays in getting your claims paid and you will be frustrated with the process.  Don’t do that to yourself.  You can start practicing today!

Here are a couple tips to help you start practicing.

Our second webinar recording shows you how to put your software (either Lytec or Medisoft) into “testing mode” so that you can submit test claims.  In our third webinar, we outline how you can test your ICD-10 claims with your clearinghouse.  We provide specific information from Relay Health because that is our preferred clearinghouse, but we give you the info you need so you can enquire with your own.

There is also a feature in your ICD-10 version of the program that allows you to just start coding everything in ICD-10 right now, but your claims will still be submitted in ICD-9 right up until September 30th!  In the program, you can set a date for when to start submitting your ICD-10 claims.  Set that date right now so you don’t need to worry about making any changes on the morning of October 1.  Learn how to do this by watching the webinars.

Doing all this will allow you to practice coding in ICD-10 now and so that you and your staff can get comfortable with the changes, but without the added stress of potentially delayed payments.

Good luck!  Please comment below if you have any questions, need any help, or have any success / failure stories to share with the community.

 

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for practices who currently submit claims using ICD-9 codes. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the Health Care industry is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to keep themselves up to date of industry requirements.

2016 EHR Hardship Exception Applications Due

News Updates From CMS: Medicare Eligible Professionals –  To Avoid 2016 Medicare Payment Adjustments, Take Action by July 1

This information was sent to us in an email from CMS dated May 14, 2015.

Payment adjustments for eligible professionals that did not successfully participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2014 will begin on January 1, 2016. Medicare eligible professionals can avoid the 2016 payment adjustment by taking action by July 1 and applying for a 2016 hardship exception.

The hardship exception applications and instructions for an individual and for multiple Medicare eligible professionals are available on the EHR Incentive Programs website, and outline the specific types of circumstances that CMS considers to be barriers to achieving meaningful use, and how to apply.

To file a hardship exception, you must:

  • Show proof of a circumstance beyond your control.
  • Explicitly outline how the circumstance significantly impaired your ability to meet meaningful use.

Supporting documentation must also be provided for certain hardship exception categories. CMS will review applications to determine whether or not a hardship exception should be granted.

You do not need to submit a hardship application if you:

  • are a newly practicing eligible professional
  • are hospital-based: a provider is considered hospital-based if he or she provides more than 90% of their covered professional services in either an inpatient (Place of Service 21) or emergency department (Place of Service 23), and certain observation services using Place of Service 22; or
  • Eligible professionals with certain PECOS specialties (05-Anesthesiology, 22-Pathology, 30-Diagnostic Radiology, 36-Nuclear Medicine, 94-Interventional Radiology)

CMS will use Medicare data to determine your eligibility to be automatically granted a hardship exception.

Apply by July 1

As a reminder, the application must be submitted electronically or postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on July 1, 2015 to be considered.

If approved, the exception is valid for the 2016 payment adjustment only. If you intend to claim a hardship exception for a subsequent payment adjustment year, a new application must be submitted for the appropriate year.

In addition, providers who are not considered eligible professionals under the Medicare program are not subject to payment adjustments and do not need to submit an application. Those types of providers include:

  • Medicaid only
  • No claims to Medicare
  • Hospital-based

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the programs.

Disclaimer: AZCOMP Technologies, Inc, (AZCOMP) is providing this material as an informational reference for eligible professionals. Although every reasonable effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information within these pages at the time of posting, the Medicare program is constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of each provider to remain abreast of the Medicare program requirements.

Submit Your Comments on Stage 3 & 2015 Edition Health Information Technology Certification Criteria NPRMs

Check out this eHealth News Update from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Stage 3 NPRM Comment Period Now Open: Submit by May 29

CMS and ONC invite the public to submit comments on the recently released notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) on Stage 3 requirements and EHR technology certified to the 2015 Edition for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Comments must be received by May 29 to be considered.

About the NPRMs
The CMS NPRM specifies the Stage 3 requirements for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals in the EHR Incentive Programs. ONC’s proposed rule outlines the certification and standards to help providers meet the proposed Stage 3 requirements with EHR technology certified to the 2015 Edition.

If finalized, the rules would allow providers more flexibility for reporting by:

  • Establishing a single, aligned reporting period for providers based on the calendar year
  • Aligning quality data for reporting via a single submission method for multiple CMS programs
  • Simplifying meaningful use reporting requirements to eight objectives that focus on advanced use of EHR technology and quality improvement

The Stage 3 proposed rule’s scope is limited to the requirements and criteria for meaningful use in 2017 and beyond. CMS is pursuing additional changes to meaningful use beginning in 2015 through separate rulemaking.

How to Submit Comments
The public can submit comments in several ways, including via electronic submission or mail:

  1. Electronically
  2. By regular mail
  3. By express or overnight mail
  4. By hand or courier

View the Stage 3 and 2015 Edition Health Information Technology Certification Criteria proposed rules online for more information. Submissions must be received by 11:59pm ET on May 29, 2015 in order to be considered.

For More Information
For more information on the Stage 3 and 2015 Edition Certification Criteria proposed rules, review the press release and fact sheet