D'Arcy Gue

Between Fines and Meaningful Use / MIPS Costs, Can Hospitals Stay Afloat?

April 25, 2014

HIPAA & Security, Meaningful Use / MIPS 2 Minute Read

CMS makes statement about ICD-10, finally.

The American Health Information Management Association’s 2014 ICD-10 and Computer Assisted Coding Summit April 22-23 in the nation’s capital featured the latest industry reaction to the ICD-10 delay. Denise Buenning of CMS addressed the delay. Buenning recognized that the delay was a surprise and that “HHS will be making an announcement shortly.” Buenning also stated “CMS is behind ICD-10.” Other issues addressed include end-to-end testing, CMS readiness, possible future delays, and the code freeze. For more details, refer to the latest ICD-10 Monitor story. 

Additionally, summit participants had the chance to share opinions in a real-time poll conducted via text that addressed a variety of key questions on ICD-10 and next steps. The poll found 88 percent of respondents were disappointed by the ICD-10 delay. Also:

  • 42 percent of respondents said their organization has spent more than $1 million on implementation
  • 91 percent of respondents said ICD-10 should not go into effect in stages
  • 50 percent of respondents would – if allowed – be interested in voluntary reporting of ICD-10 codes beginning on Oct. 1 2014
  • 54 percent of respondents did not want the partial code set freeze lifted

EHR incentive dollars aren’t covering the costs of implementation.

A recent article on EMR and HIPAA discusses the industry concern that organizations seem to be spending more money on EHR and Meaningful Use / MIPS than they’re receiving from the government. Reimbursements for the actual systems appear to be covering the cost of EHR systems, but the piece that seems to be stretching healthcare provider budgets is the actual implementation and user training. It appears that hospital systems are finding themselves in financial trouble due to the costs of their EHR system. The situation will be even worse for those hospitals who haven’t met the deadlines and will therefore be receiving NO government incentive payments. 

Stolen laptops from hospitals means $2M fine.

We published a post this week discussing the threats to the security of hospital data. In the post, we cite a recent announcement regarding the latest HHS settlement which resulted in penalties totaling nearly $2M for two organizations after their unencrypted computers were stolen. Healthcare IT News provides details about the breaches, but it is apparent to us, given the number of breaches and penalties in the last year is that security of ePHI is increasingly critical. It is more important than ever to take the steps required to ensure that your data is protected. 

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