News Feature | December 4, 2013

Healthcare IT News For VARs — December 4, 2013

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

BSM-doctor tablet

In the news: a letter from the AHA wants ICD-10 testing to start next month and companies are offering a cloud alternative to patient portals and free EHR software.

AHA Wants ICD-10 Testing To Start In January

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has sent a letter requesting that the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expedite its ICD-10 testing to begin no later than January 2014 and to make testing available to all hospitals. The AHA requests that smaller hospitals have the same opportunity as larger healthcare providers to test with CMS contractors, and for testing to include two components: Testing connectivity and the transaction exchange for a claim containing ICD-10 codes and testing the provider’s and payer’s ability to correctly handle the ICD-10 content as part of the claims adjudication process. A Government Health IT article outlines the current testing schedule and what hospitals can expect.

ACA Offers ICD-10 Help

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has launched its online toolkit and webinar to assist in the transition to ICD-10.  The resource includes a timeline, articles, online training, and an ICD-10 code conversion tool.

New Developments: Cloud Alternative To Patient Portals, Free EHR Software 

Information Week reports on two new developments related to EHR systems. Box has embedded a link in cloud EHRs Dr. Chrono and CareCloud. The article, “Cloud Services May Replace EHR Portals,” states, “Physicians using these EHR systems can easily transfer patient records to Box, where patients can securely download them or transfer them to other providers.” A second article reports that Practice Fusion is offering electronic medical records software to doctors — free of charge. The article says, according to Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard, “The cost of the web-based application is supported by advertising and payments from pharmacy chains and other healthcare industry players who want to make it as easy as possible for doctors to send prescriptions and referrals their way. Practice Fusion also sells anonymized data that its partners can mine as part of public health and market research.”

Purchases Of EMR Companies Account For Most Healthcare M&A

Modern Healthcare’s Healthcare M&A Watch report for Q3 2013 states total deals rose from 225 to 229 last quarter. The combined purchase price of the quarter’s mergers and acquisitions was $38.4 billion, down from $49.9 billion in Q2, but significantly more than $11 billion in Q1.  The biggest deal of the quarter was Amgen’s $10.4 billion buy of Onyx Pharmaceuticals. A key takeaway from the report states, “Vendors racked up the most deals. Two of the five largest vendor deals involved private equity investors purchasing electronic medical record companies.”

Growth In EMR Market, Cloud Service Demand Projected

TechNavio is forecasting the global hospital-based EMR market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.46 percent from 2012-2016. The report also states the market also has is a high demand for cloud computing services.

Healthcare IT Talking Points

A CureMD blog gives three key EHR training strategies: flexibility of offering training either online or onsite, providing a variety of training materials, and including interaction between trainer and trainee.

Tips for MSPs serving the healthcare vertical are listed in a guest blog by Continuum for MSPmentor. The article looks at concerns over data breaches, HIPAA regulations, areas of expertise, and partnering.

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