Connecting to Health Information Exchange (HIE) via EHR – how it helps syndromic surveillance for public health Once all community EHRs are connected via Health Information Exchange (HIE) it will be powerful for public health departments to see real-time disease spreading statewide via syndromic surveillance and GIS mapping.   Concentrating on local community concerns, public health departments strategize on policies and tactics used to protect and improve the health of their community. This is ... Read more...

Ten Indicators That You Should Replace and Modernize Your EHR System Ten indicators that you should replace and modernize your Electronic Health Record (EHR). If your agency has three of these indicators, you should search for another EHR.   Not all EHRs are created equally. Some are archaic and cumbersome, and require too much IT support. Some are expensive and yet still do not do everything that you ... Read more...

Understanding Medicare Incident-To Billing for Public Health Incident-to BillingWith shrinking budgets, it is important that local health departments focus on maximizing revenues. Billing is complex and confusing. Inappropriate billing is costing local health departments a lot of lost revenue.   One important concept to understand is incident-to billing. “Incident-to” services are defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as those services that ... Read more...

Learn how to implement Stage 2 Meaningful Use and EHR interoperability standards Stage 2 Meaningful Use is a bit more involved than the Stage 1 requirements. There is a lot to know and getting it straight doesn’t happen overnight. But there’s help. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has online training modules available to help educate Eligible Professional (EPs) and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) on how ... Read more...

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 Public 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...