News Feature | June 13, 2014

Healthcare IT News For VARs — June 13, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Healthcare IT News For VARs

In this week’s news, IBM teams up with Epic, and Meaningful Use Stage 2 continues to see slow growth.

$24 Billion Paid In EHR Incentives

Eligible hospitals and doctors have been paid $23.7 billion in incentives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for adopting EHR systems. The announcement comes as federal policymakers, along with vendors, and providers are still in disagreement over how to address the difficulties in meeting Meaningful Use standards. Still, participation in the program continues to increase, leaving only 3 percent of eligible U.S. providers not signed up to participate and 59 percent having received Meaningful Use Stage 1 incentives, according to Healthcare IT News.

IBM, Epic Team Up To Take On Pentagon Deal

According to NextGov, IBM has partnered with EHR provider, Epic, to compete for the Defense Department’s Healthcare Management Systems modernization contract. The bid is expected to happen this summer, with an approximated value of $11 billion. The two industry leaders have been in collaboration for months in preparation for the project. The partnership marks the first time a systems integrator and EHR provider have formally announced a partnership, highlighting IBM’s aggressive efforts to enter the healthcare industry.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Continues With Slow Growth

Meaningful Use attestation, according to HealthData Management, has increased slightly over the past month, as reported by CMS. Eight eligible hospitals and 447 eligible professionals have attested so far. While the numbers are low, they indicate a large increase from the prior month, when only four hospitals and 50 physicians had achieved Stage 2 compliance. For Stage 1, 59 percent of professionals have attested and 15 percent have received a Medicaid Adopt, Implement and Upgrade incentive-only payment.

VA Seeking New Scheduling Module For EHR System

The CIO of the Department Of Veterans Affairs announced on Tuesday that the agency is considering a commercial scheduling technology that can be integrated into its existing EHR system. The VA will meet with contractors next week and issue an RFP for the EHR system addition. The department intends to have a new medical appointment management tool in the Veterans’ Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture by the end of fiscal year 2015, according to ExecutiveGov.com.

Healthcare IT Talking Points

Industry leaders met to discuss payers and providers transforming healthcare through changing contracted relationships and collaborating on data, on June 10 in Chicago. The discussion, titled “Transforming the Payer-Provider Relationship: Aligning Business Models For Improved Outcomes” was sponsored by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation. Panel members discussed issues including:

  • Payer-provider collaboration
  • Value-based contracting
  • Data-sharing

Read more on the meeting and the insights of some of the key players at HealthcareInformatics.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Healthcare IT Resource Center.

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