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Health Management Technology News
  March 13, 2014
In this issue:
 

► CMS updates hardship exemptions for 2013 reporting year

► Healthcare.gov gets traffic boost after Obama's 'Funny or Die' video

► HMT’s living case study: Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Network

► Thoma Bravo completes the acquisition of GHX

► University of Washington Medical Center finds answer to language barriers


CMS updates hardship exemptions for 2013 reporting year

CMS updated the Hardship Exception Guidance for participants in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Many questions remain to be answered by the agency.  CMS is currently only accepting hardship exception applications for the 2015 payment adjustment year, which is tied to the 2013 reporting year.  The deadline to apply for a hardship exception for the 2015 payment adjustment year is by April 1, 2014, for eligible hospitals and July 1, 2014, for eligible professionals.

What we are waiting for is more details on what is required for a hardship exception for the 2016 payment adjustment year, which is tied to the 2014 reporting year.

CMS did update applications for the hardship exceptions to include “2014 EHR Vendor Issues,” which they characterize as: “During the fiscal year (2014) preceding the payment adjustment year (2015), the Hospital's EHR vendor was unable to obtain 2014 certification or the Hospital was unable to implement meaningful use due to 2014 EHR certification delays,” (the categories are very similar between the eligible hospital and eligible professional applications).  This “2014 EHR Vendor Issues” is an additional box that CMS just added to the eligible hospital and eligible professional applications.  HIMSS is seeking clarification on what CMS means related to vendors “unable to obtain 2014 certification,” or providers that were “unable to implement meaningful use due to 2014 certification delays.”

CMS is expressing concern about confusing applicants about what they are applying; therefore, more details on 2014/2016 are unlikely for at least a couple of weeks. On March 11th, CMS noted that the hardship exception applications for the 2016 payment adjustment year will not be released until after April 1, 2014. HIMSS expects CMS will provide clarity on 2016 hardship exemptions along with the release of these new applications.

Read more information here ► 

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Healthcare.gov gets traffic boost after Obama's 'Funny or Die' video

President Obama's appearance on the Web talk show Between Two Ferns with comedian/actor Zach Galifianakis has bumped traffic to Healthcare.gov.

Obama pitched health care enrollment in the interview, which was posted to Funny or Die's website Tuesday morning.

Tuesday's traffic to Healthcare.gov was almost 40% over Monday's traffic. This morning there were more than 890,000 visits to the site, according to a tweet by HealthCare.gov.

More than 4.2 million people have signed up for insurance as of the end of February, according to the department of Health and Human Services. About 942,000 people signed up for private plans in February, a drop from 1,146,000 in January. The goal is to enroll 7 million people by the March 31 deadline.

Read the full USA Today article here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 


HMT’s living case study: Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Network

With the aim to loosen diabetes’ foothold on the state, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant announced his office’s partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), North Sunflower Medical Center (NSMC), GE Healthcare, Intel-GE Care Innovations and C Spire Wireless to create the Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Network, a first of its kind nationally. This unique partnership between business, government and academics will offer Mississippi’s diabetic citizens more consistent and timely access to clinicians through the use of telehealth technology in their homes.

HMT plans to cover the progress of this innovative project as it develops over the next eighteen months. Our hope is to create a living case study that shows the philosophies, processes, partnerships and progress of the project as it unfolds.

Read our introduction to this project here ► 

Read our first update of the project here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 


Thoma Bravo completes the acquisition of GHX

Thoma Bravo, LLC has completed its acquisition of Global Healthcare Exchange, LLC (GHX), a provider of connected, intelligent healthcare supply chains.

“GHX is one of the most significant companies in healthcare today because of its focus on enabling better patient care and billions in savings for providers and suppliers in the healthcare community,” said Seth Boro, managing partner at Thoma Bravo. “We wanted to partner with GHX and its management because the company is leading the charge in transforming the healthcare industry supply chain model to deliver cost reductions and better patient care.”

“Over the past four years GHX has eliminated $4 billion from healthcare costs by enabling faster, more efficient, and more accurate procurement processes,” said GHX CEO Bruce Johnson. “As a result of our relationship  with Thoma Bravo, we know we can deliver even more savings and are already identifying opportunities to make healthcare a more efficient and automated industry, critical in today’s healthcare environment.”

Read the full Thoma Bravo article here ► 

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University of Washington Medical Center finds answer to language barriers

Hospital visits can be very stressful even when you speak the language of those there to care for you. If you add a language barrier to the equation, the anxiety levels escalate and the outcomes can be life threatening.

University of Washington Medical Center has partnered with Language Access Network (LAN) to provide interpretation services for its Limited English Proficient and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing patients through the use of Martti (My Accessible Real-Time Trusted Interpreter), LAN's state-of the-art system connecting the highest quality, medically-trained interpreters with doctors and patients round-the-clock via live video. The Martti units allow patients and providers to actually see and communicate directly with interpreters within seconds, at the touch of a button, via LAN's own dedicated HIPAA-compliant high speed broadband network.

Read the full press release here ► 

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