From The Sacramento Bee News Wire
Reports show that at the end of 2011, more than 10,000 healthcare providers in New York State had enrolled in programs from Regional Extension Centers (RECs). RECs work to help doctors and nurses implement electronic health records (EHRs), while achieving Meaningful Use, as outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The program is federally subsidized and run jointly by the New York City Health Department and the New York eHealth Collaborative. The majority of the 10,000 healthcare providers enrolled in RECs are primary care providers and small practices that often have difficulty transitioning from paper to electronic medical records. In addition to helping program participants achieve Meaningful Use and qualify for the related Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, the program’s goal is to help providers understand how to use EHR to better address population health and improve the lives of their patients.
From iHealth Beat
A recent study from the Health Services Research journal has shown that the use of EHR can improve some measures of care for patients with Type 2 diabetes. The study examined the medical results of 14,051 diabetes patients in Texas over a four-year period. Of this group, 6,376 patients saw physicians who used EHR. The study examined overall diabetes care as well as five specific measures of diabetes management: average blood sugar over time, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure management, aspirin use and non-smoking status. After evaluating the data, researchers found that patients who saw physicians who used EHR were more likely to receive “optimal care.” Specifically, these patients showed better results in three measures of care: blood pressure management, aspirin use and quitting smoking. Researchers attribute the improved outcomes to improved documentation and the EHR-generated reminders that patients received throughout their treatment.
From American Medical News
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently created a new website that allows the public to see how payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid EHR (CMS) Incentive programs have been distributed to healthcare providers. To qualify for incentive payments, providers must prove Meaningful Use of certified EHR technology. HHS will update the website monthly with information about how much money was paid out in each state. The website provides up-to-date information about how many healthcare providers have registered for the incentive program and includes detailed maps that show the number of hospitals, critical access hospitals and individuals that have received payments.