Meaningful Use Stage 3: Quality Oasis or Technology Mirage?

A popular adage dictates that if something isn’t broken, you shouldn’t try to fix it. Chances are, no one has ever said that about the meaningful use program. On March 20, 2015, CMS released the proposed rule for Stage 3 of meaningful use. Now in its fifth year, the well-intentioned but controversial program is often criticized for being overly complicated, burdensome, and reliant on EHR technology not yet in production.  As we continue to sift through the new rule’s 300+ pages, two key questions come to mind:  Continue reading

Shaping Emergency Department Utilization Through Predictive Analytics

In the United States, one percent of healthcare users account for 21.4 percent of total U.S. healthcare spending. “Frequent flyers” to emergency departments (EDs) heap a considerable cost burden onto the system, especially considering that reducing unnecessary ED visits could save an estimated $38 billion.

Despite the huge expense of unnecessary emergency department utilization, there is a silver lining – these encounters produce valuable data that can ultimately be used to curb healthcare costs. Continue reading

Meaningful Use Final Rule in Pictures

CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) recently announced modifications to the meaningful use attestation requirements for 2014.  Following significant lobbying from EHR vendors, eligible professionals (EPs), and hospitals, CMS issued a brief reprieve to meeting Stage 2 meaningful use in 2014 – for some lucky participants.  Recognizing that EPs and hospitals may still be using 2011 certified EHR technology (CEHRT) or a mixture of 2011 and 2014 CEHRT, CMS created a chart of decision points meant to enable flexibility for EPs and hospitals alike.  These options also accommodate EPs and hospitals that have upgraded to the 2014 CEHRT but are still unable to meet the Stage 2 requirements within the mandatory timetables. Continue reading