Report Predicts Significant Growth in Hospitals’ Spending on Health IT


Hospitals are expected to increase their purchasing of health IT tools in 2016 as they seek to avoid federal meaningful use penalties and bolster their IT systems, according to a new report by HIMSS Analytics, Healthcare IT News reports (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 1/27).

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments. Medicare-eligible professionals who do not meet the requirements for meaningful use are subject to payment adjustments to their Medicare reimbursements beginning in 2015 (iHealthBeat, 1/22).

Report Details

For the report, researchers aimed to predict hospitals’ health IT purchasing plans for 2016. The data were generated using HIMSS Analytics’ new market intelligence tool, Logic.

Report Findings

Overall, the report identified five health technologies that are expected to see significant growth in the hospital buying market in 2016:

  • Clinical data warehousing/mining, which is projected to see a 500% growth increase from 2015;
  • Nurse staffing/scheduling systems, which are projected to see a 300% growth increase from 2015;
  • Electronic data interchange/clearinghouse, which is projected to see a 200% growth increase from 2015;
  • In-house transcription, which is projected to see a 200% growth increase from 2015; and
  • Medical necessity checking content, which is projected to see a 200% growth increase from 2015 (Healthcare IT News, 1/27).

Meanwhile, the report predicted that the top five health technologies hospitals plan to adopt in 2016 are:

  • Computerized provider order entry;
  • Physician documentation systems;
  • Nurse/staffing scheduling systems;
  • Speech recognition software; and
  • Clinical data warehousing/mining (HIMSS Analytics report, 1/11).

Matt Schuchardt, director of market intelligence solution sales at HIMSS Analytics, said more hospitals are expected to be adopting CPOE to avoid penalties under the meaningful use program.

Schuchardt also noted that many organizations plan to make substantial investments in analytics infrastructure, with 188 hospitals planning to make first time purchases of a clinical data warehouse in 2016, and 102 hospitals planning to upgrade their current data warehouses (Healthcare IT News, 1/27).

Infographic: 10 Healthcare Analytics Trends for 2016

It is hard to believe we are in December already! Where has 2015 gone? We are still entrenched in the transformation of healthcare and it will be interesting to witness the continued evolution in 2016.

One area that will continue to be a focal point for healthcare organizations is analytics and the ability to transform large amounts of data into meaningful information that can be utilized to improve patient care and operational performance. Check out the below infographic for a look at 10 healthcare analytics trends for 2016. In our new guide, we take a deep dive into these trends and also provide some real-world client stories. Get the guide here or at the bottom of this post.



AMA Adds 20 Schools to its Medical Education Innovation Program


On Wednesday, the American Medical Association announced that it has added 20 schools to its medical education innovation initiative, bringing the total number of participating schools to 31,Healthcare IT News reports (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 11/4).


In 2013, AMA launched the Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium to modernize medical education. The program initially included 11 schools.

AMA CEO James Madara in a press call on Wednesday said that the consortium already has led to the development of a system to teach students how to use electronic health records using de-identified records.

According to FierceHealthIT, another early consortium member launched a “health care by the numbers” project in which students use analytical tools to examine and interpret large amounts of de-identified data (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 11/4).

New Consortium Members

Susan Skochelak, AMA group vice president for medical education, said the newly added schools were chosen from a pool of 108 applicants, and the full consortium is expected to teach 18,000 medical students annually.

The new schools will receive grants of $75,000 over three years (Frieden, MedPage Today, 11/4).

The new schools joining the consortium are:

  • A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona;
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine;
  • Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin;
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School;
  • Emory University School of Medicine;
  • Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine;
  • Harvard Medical School;
  • Morehouse School of Medicine;
  • Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine;
  • Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago;
  • Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School;
  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University;
  • Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education/City College of New York;
  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine;
  • University of Nebraska College of Medicine;
  • University of North Carolina School of Medicine;
  • University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences;
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine;
  • University of Utah School of Medicine; and
  • University of Washington School of Medicine (Healthcare IT News, 11/4).

Integrating NPPs for a Patient-Centric Practice


The world of patient care today consists of one provider surrounded by a patient panel, but soon, that will shift to a “building a team around a population of one — the patient.”

That’s according to Ted Johnson, group vice president for Hospital Corporation of America’s (HCA) Physician Services Group. HCA operates 170 hospitals in the U.S. as well as more than 800 affiliated practices, overseeing a total of more than 3,700 providers.

That breadth of care is made possible through the integration of non-physician providers (NPPs), which the organization has seen grow from a workforce of 250 three years ago to its current level of 850.

“NPPs are our fastest growing area of employment,” Johnson said at his session on integrating NPPs into healthcare environments at this year’s Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn. , on Wednesday (Oct. 13). “Clearly, the literature is not new that there is a clear and present threat in the reducing number of [physicians] available with an aging population requiring healthcare.”

Add to that government regulations encouraging team-based care and changing consumer behaviors toward immediate access, the need for additional staffing at medical practice and health systems is growing.  NPPs have and can continue to fill those needs, Johnson said.

“[Rather than] having a panel [of patients] and a provider, we are building teams of providers around the patient and providing the patient with solutions for their care,” he said. “…It is no more provider-centric, but instead, a team of people who can deal with the portfolio of issues,” patients have, ranging from a simple refill request to more complex visits.

While ideal in theory, creating this shift also has to make business sense. Johnson notes that while his firm is committed to “NPPs performing at the top of their license as independently as possible,” he also has to justify hiring someone. That justification takes shape if he can calculate that the cost of hiring an NPP will result in twice their salary in added revenue.

“Below that, we have to ask what is needed: Is the need there or is it a ‘lifestyle enhancement’ for a physician? … I don’t want it to be the case where we add an NPP to a physician who is in the 35th percentile of productivity and remains there after the hire. We need to get to a higher threshold [of productivity],” Johnson said.

That also includes structuring compensation correctly for NPPs, he added. While it may be easier to tie productivity to compensation in primary care, the same can’t be seen for surgical and other specialties. So it’s very important that practices find a way to measure what NPPs do, how that ties to physician productivity, “and create incentives to give them the desire to make the physician more productive,” Johnson advised.

And while integrating an NPP into practice is a balance of addressing access and capacity, it is also an issue of acceptance — especially when licensing and responsibilities for these various roles differ by state, from complete autonomy to heavy physician oversight.

“It really varies market to market,” Johnson said. “But there are opportunities for us to education patients about what these providers bring tour practice and their care.”

– See more at:

How to Report Issues With ICD-10 Medicare Claims


All claims and other administrative transactions (such as eligibility, prior authorization and others) for dates of service on and after Oct. 1, 2015, must have an ICD-10 diagnosis code. All transactions with ICD-9 diagnosis codes will be rejected.

If you experience any problems in the processing of your Medicare claims or other Medicare administrative transactions, you may complete and submit an ICD-10 complaint form to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Please note: This is for Medicare only. Forms will be sent directly to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Sending this email constitutes your authorization for the information to be supplied to CMS. The American Medical Association will not provide individual responses to each complaint.

Please complete and send an ICD-10 complaint form.

There are also other steps you can take to address the issues you are having.

  • If the payer is Medicare:
    • Check your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) website for information on problems they are addressing and for a method of contact for ICD-10 issues.
    • The complaint form will be sent to the CMS ICD-10 ombudsman.
  • If the payer is Medicaid, check the state Medicaid website for information and method of contact.
  • If the payer is a commercial payer, check their website for information and method of contact.
  • If you are having issues with your practice management system or electronic health record (EHR), contact your vendor.
  • If you are having issues with your billing vendor or clearinghouse, contact them.
  • For advice on handling problems and to find out if other practices are experiencing similar issues, contact your state or specialty medical society.