President Obama made this statement about six weeks before the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was signed into law. Under the HITECH ACT, CMS began its EHR Incentive Program. Although that five-year benchmark has been surpassed, of April 2015, CMS paid out more than $30 billion in incentive payments to hospitals and health systems for the adoption and use of electronic health records. These incentive payments, coupled with the looming threat of financial penalties for non-adopters and a need to better coordinate care, have driven providers to rapidly adopt EHRs over the past few years. The EHR market is expected to reach $8.3 billion by 2016.

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Real-time e-healthcare system is one of the best ways to keep your health records and track it anytime, without any geographical constraint. Patients can always stay in touch with their doctors and communicate with them about any health issue. They can self-check also for an immediate result without any third party’s dependence. With advanced technology and rapid innovation, these days’ products are being made in such a way that it should be more consumer friendly and easy to use. Real-time e-healthcare system fulfills all the above criteria and hence, the market is growing at a positive rate.

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Meeting meaningful use criteria may get a little easier for physicians if the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) adopts draft rules that propose to standardize the 2015 reporting period for the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program to 90 consecutive days.  

The rules would also require only one patient in a physician's practice to use technology to download, view, and transmit his or her medical records. Currently, meaningful use requires 5 percent of patients in a practice to participate in the electronic exchange of their records.

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The original revenue cycle management systems were designed to improve the speed and accuracy of claims filing for healthcare organizations and their implementation has, for the most part, succeeded in helping to reach those goals. Yet many providers are still utilizing technology that goes back decades and doesn’t have the functionality for an increasingly complex billing landscape.

It raises the question – are first-generation RCMs ripe for a “rip and replace” treatment? Or can they continue to be used if they show no sign of obsolescence?

Patrick Hall, executive vice president for Austin, Texas-based eMDs, said it comes down to a simple conclusion: “When your current system doesn’t work for you anymore, it is time to upgrade.”

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The following IT vendor contracts and go-lives were announced in the past week.

1. Asheville, N.C.-based Mission Health selected QlikView and Qlik Sense for enterprise-wide data analytics and self-service visualization.
2. Fredericksburg, Va.-based Mary Washington Healthcare adopted MedeAnalytics' Population Health solution to improve quality and reduce employee health plan administration costs.
3. Village Family Practice of Houston chose Lightbeam Health Solutions' population health management solutions.
4. Waterbury, Conn.-based Saint Mary's Health System renewed its contract with Anthelio Healthcare Solutions to outsource IT operations.
5. Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, Wis., selected CompuMed Enterprise Telemedicine Solution for Rural Healthcare to offer telehealth services.
6. Boise, Idaho-based St. Luke's Health System selected Nutanix to support the health system's transition to virtual desktops.
7. Princeton HealthCare System in Plainsboro, N.J., selected an integrated population health platform from eMDs and Lightbeam Health Solutions.

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Princeton HealthCare System in Plainsboro, N.J., has selected an integrated population health platform from eMDs and Lightbeam Health Solutions.

The platform is used by approximately 40 ACOs and draws patient data from eMDs' EHR platform. The system then provides an overview of cost and utilization from payers to providers and uses Lightbeam's analysis and cloud solutions to make the data understandable in order to determine areas for improvement.

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Physicians face pressures from all directions – government regulations, complex insurance rules, higher patient expectations, increasing overhead, and decreasing reimbursements mean practices must be run efficiently.

To alleviate some of that pressure, Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN), a health information exchange organization (HIO), announced it has partnered with eMDs to become the first to exchange provider data directly with the newly-created Kansas infectious disease registry.

The data exchange is possible through the deployment of eMDs' EHR technology and assists the 31 Kansas healthcare organizations using eMDs' EHR fulfill Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements. It also brings significant benefits to patients.

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