Guest Column by Val Van’t Hul, Meaningful Use Project Manager, DocuTAP.
Providers at urgent care centers around the country are preparing to attest for either Stage 1 or Stage 2 meaningful use this year, and knowing the differences in reporting periods can make a huge difference in the process. Reporting periods vary depending on which stage an eligible professional (EP) is in, and whether a provider is attesting through the Medicaid or Medicare EHR incentive program.
To further explain this process, here are the reporting periods for 2014 indicated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):
An EP must select any 90-day reporting period that falls within the 2014 calendar year. Since Medicaid is state government-based, urgent care centers are tasked with researching any particular rules and regulations that pertain to their location, as these vary from state to state.
An EP participating in the first year of meaningful use (Stage 1, year 1) must select any 90-day reporting period. However, to avoid the 2015 payment adjustment the EP must begin the reporting period by July 1 and submit attestation data by October 1, 2014. This grace period is designed to help clinics that are still working out best practices and processes for attestation.
Medicare – An EP who is beyond their first year of Meaningful Use (Stage 1, year 2 or beyond) must select a three-month reporting period that is fixed to the quarter of the calendar year (i.e. July to September or October to December). There is not one quarter that is better than others for reporting, but clinics should keep in mind that there should be ample time to implement any changes in clinical workflow prior to the start of the reporting period. If an EHR vendor is properly certified for Meaningful Use and the urgent care client can begin the process, they may choose a later reporting period to allow time to properly order their workflow.
Meaningful Use Tracking & Reporting
Urgent care centers should monitor clinical workflow progress often to benchmark the eligible professional’s progress in working toward achieving Meaningful Use objectives. It is wise to run meaningful use reports from the EHR software, as well as conduct a provider analysis every few weeks to find out where and how adjustments need to be made in the progression toward these objectives. If EPs are falling below a preferred threshold in any area, this benchmarking provides ample time to get up-to-speed on clinic initiatives.
In addition to implementing tracking measures, it is necessary to understand the importance of delineating between “yes or no” and numerator/denominator reports. While the former are fairly self-explanatory (i.e. as with drug interaction checks), clinics should take careful documentation measures to prove compliance, including taking regular screenshots of what is happening in a clinic’s EHR software system during the reporting period. For example, when pop-ups of patient medicinal allergies occur, a screenshot of this notification, along with a date/time stamp, should be taken and a copy kept on file for up to six years, as this is the standard amount of time for which CMS may audit the eligible professionals.
As a service to readers of Electronic Health Reporter I decided to ask its readers which sessions they most wanted to see at HIMSS13. For the record, I have attended HIMSS more than once so I understand how overwhelming it can be. However, I also understand that there are plenty of great resources available to those in attendance regarding which events to attend. Certainly, what I offer here is by no means authoritative nor is it objective.
Thus, I leave it up to you to decide what you are going to do while in New Orleans. All I can say is thanks for reading. I hope this helps.
One of the must-attend sessions at HIMSS13 will be the Interoperability Showcase, held at ongoing times between March 4 through6. During this showcase, attendees will have the opportunity to see how their personal health data moves securely from system to system. For Nextrials, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate how its clinical trial data and management platform, Prism, intersects with platforms used in hospitals and clinics. This integration can not only improve patient care — it can give patients better access to participation in clinical trials, and help clinics and hospitals contribute to the advancement of medicine.
Roundtable 305 – Proprietary vs. Third-party vs. Standards-based Device Integration: An Update, Tuesday, March 5 at 2:15 p.m., Room 293. Joe Kiani, the chairman of the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation, and Competition in Healthcare and CEO of Masimo, and I’m alarmed that more than 200,000 patients die each year of preventable deaths in U.S. hospitals. At the recent Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit, Kiani and friend Bill Clinton issued a goal for zero preventable deaths by 2020. Eight other medical device companies – including GE Healthcare, Drager, Sonosite and Zoll – also pledge to make their data available through open architecture systems. Many other hospitals since have followed with similar commitments. The roundtable’s objectives: “Discuss the advancements and achievements in medical device integration over the last year.” While many are talking about device interoperability and patient safety, the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation, and Competition in Healthcare are actually doing something about it.
Cheryl Bailey, CNO/VP of Patient Care Services at Cullman Regional, will share her firsthand accounts of using mobile health to improve patient care and show conference-goers how the hospital reduced re-admissions by 15 percent and increased HCAHPS scores by more than 60 percent within six months using Good to Go, a recently launched mobile health platform by ExperiaHealth. Bailey will be presenting at the Nursing Informatics Symposium where she is presenting: “Improving Patient Satisfaction & Reducing Re-admissions with Better Discharge Communication.”
Accenture’s Manuel Lowenhaupt, managing director of U.S. clinical services, Monday, March 4 at 9:45a.m. “Trending Health: Using Information Technology to Deliver Clinical Outcomes.” By implementing a new clinical operating model and engaging clinicians in transformational change, Trinity Health standardized care and improved quality and safety outcomes by using information technology.
Executive Breakfast Panel: Go Big (Data) or Go Home, Tuesday, March 5 at 7 a.m., Hilton Riverside. Three CEOs discuss how the marriage of medical and pharmacy data paired with intelligent analytics will reveal remarkable insights available to all from the cloud. Speak is Atigeo CEO Michael Sandoval.
Emdeon Speaking Session: The Future of Coding is NOW: Maximizing Coding Efficiency and Accuracy Using Big Data and Analytics, Tuesday, March 5 at 11 a.m. Atigeo Director of product management, Manjula Iyer.
“Beyond the Device: A Comprehensive Mobility Strategy” on March 5, as a kick start to addressing mobility needs as they relate to business strategy, security, and infrastructure, beyond the device.
“Leveraging Smartphones to Simplify Communication Across Multiple Systems” will be helpful for organizations planning to implement or already using smartphones to communicate.
Policy and monitoring play critical roles in your information management; you need to develop a governance strategy to drive consistency and adherence to your adopted standards. Governance is essential to ensure that the right decisions and actions in the management of healthcare data are continuously taken. “Healthcare Information Governance: Establishing the Framework for Enterprise Management of Information” on March 6.
Former President Bill Clinton’s keynote on Wednesday, March 6.
“ICD-10 and Administrative Simplification” session (Education Sessions 131) will address the role of ICD-10 in administrative simplification, and the overall objective to lower costs, create uniform electronic standards, and streamline exchanges between health care providers and payers.
Other sessions of note:
#4: The Ins and Outs of Meaningful Use: Understanding Stage 1 Changes & Stage 2 Requirements, featuring Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst, CMS, March 4, 2013, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m., New Orleans Theater C
#23: Stage 1: EHR Incentive Programs, March 4, 2013, 11 a.m. – noon, New Orleans Theater C
#62: Stage 2: EHR Incentive Programs, March 5, 2013, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m., New Orleans Theater C
#81: CMS Town Hall: CMS eHealth: Building the Future, March 5, 2013, 1 – 2 p.m., New Orleans Theater C
#131: ICD-10 and Administrative Simplification, March 6, 2013, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m., Room 294
#138: Views from the Administrator, featuring Marilyn Tavenner, Acting Administrator, Chief Operating Officer, CMS, March 6, 2013, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m., New Orleans Theater C
#178: CMS Quality Measurement, March 7, 2013, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., New Orleans Theater C