CMS may reduce Stage 3 Meaningful Use reporting requirements in 2015. Local Health departments can also benefit. CMS Committed to alleviate the burdens of Meaningful UseThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has committed to reduce the stage 3 meaningful use requirements for 2015, according to their blog post late last month.   This is in response to provider uncertainties about software implementation, information exchange readiness, and other concerns. It shows a continued effort by CMS to work in partnership ... Read more...

A 12-step plan for ICD-10-CM implementation for local health departments Extra Extra ICD10comingPublic health department’s billing staff may have some huge challenges come October 1, 2015. Don’t take risks – start getting ready now!   The upcoming 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), is meant to be a great improvement over the 9th edition, but it could mean severe financial risks if public health departments are ... Read more...

ICD-10-CM has big benefits for Public Health! ICD 9 vs 10ICD-10-CM codes will provide comprehensive data and make it easier to conduct public health surveillance.   That said, the complexity of the codes will most likely require quite a bit of training for the coding staff. Additionally, the transition to ICD-10-CM will require all necessary system upgrades and workflow changes to be in place in order ... Read more...

Is Stage 3 Meaningful Use in the hot seat? MU Hot seatReady or not, Stage 3 Meaningful Use is coming albeit with some needed flexibility.   There is no exception to adopt and become meaningful use (MU) compliant: all clinics, including public health, must comply. With huge investments already made by numerous healthcare centers nationwide, there is a demand for the sustainability of the meaningful use program. But, ... Read more...

How can EHR photo IDs help local health departments uniquely identify patients? How can EHR photos help local health departments uniquely identify patients?Many public health departments have unique patient populations, which can increase difficulties in properly identifying their patients. In an ever changing world, local health departments are seeing patients from different parts of the world including Latin America, Burma, and Cambodia etc. Spellings can be confusing. To complicate patient check-in process, some patients use first name ... Read more...