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October 18, 2011
Q: For the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, can a non-hospital based eligible professional (EP) include their in-patient encounters for purposes of calculating Medicaid patient volume even if the patient is included in the eligible hospital’s patient volume for the same 90-day period?
A: Yes, an EP who sees patients in an in-patient setting, and is not hospital based, can include the in-patient encounter in their Medicaid patient volume calculation. Both an eligible hospital and an EP can include an encounter from the same patient in their Medicaid patient volume calculations, respectively. This is because the services performed by the EP are distinct from those performed by the eligible hospital. Section 495.306 defines an encounter as a service performed by either an EP or an eligible hospital in which Medicaid has financial liability. An EP who sees patients in an in-patient setting bills Medicaid for the services personally rendered by the EP, while at same time the hospital bills Medicaid for the services rendered by the hospital, such as the bed and medications. Given that these are two distinct sets of services for the same patient, both the eligible hospital and the EP can count them as an encounter for Medicaid patient volume if they happened to select the same 90-day period.
August 31, 2011
South Lincoln Medical Center in Kemmerer reached an important milestone recently for using electronic health record (EHR) technology under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
SLMC is the first hospital in Wyoming and one of the first Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) in the nation to complete a 90-day period of demonstrating EHR “meaningful use” as defined by the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS). A CAH is a rural hospital located at least 35 miles from any other hospital with no more than 25 inpatient beds. SLMC, a 16-bed facility, has been serving the area since 1961.
Having reached this milestone, SLMC qualifies for a federal incentive payment from Medicare. The Medicare EHR Incentive Program is a CMS effort designed to encourage the adoption and use of electronic health records. The Wyoming Department of Health is developing a Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, which is also likely to provide incentive payments to the Kemmerer hospital later this year.
Wyoming Department of Health Director Tom Forslund said, “South Lincoln Medical Center’s achievement is a welcome demonstration that electronic health record initiatives can be successful in Wyoming.”
Forslund’s department includes Medicaid, which has been developing an information technology initiative known as the “Total Health Record.” As one step toward reaching the “meaningful use” milestone, SLMC transmitted an electronic record from SLMC’s EHR system to the department’s Total Health Record system. “We see a critical role for the Total Health Record in improving efficiency and quality of care for Medicaid clients,” Forslund said.
SLMC employees were involved with the selection and installation of the appropriate software and training to meet “meaningful use” guidelines. “Our focus has been to improve the quality of patient care and patient safety in addition to improving the exchange of information among healthcare providers and patients through our EHR,” said Eric Boley, SLMC chief executive officer.
SLMC received support and technical assistance from Health Technology Services, which has been designated by the federal government as the Regional Extension Center (REC) for Wyoming. The REC works under a federal cooperative agreement to allow smaller facilities to affordably achieve their health information technology goals.
The Medicare EHR Incentive Program was authorized under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
June 22, 2011
The addition of two new team members has increased the momentum towards our goal of assisting qualified Medicaid providers with the federally mandated transition to the EHR.
Shawna Hults, System Manager, has over 15 years of healthcare administration experience. She will be overseeing the development of the registration database that will be used to confirm eligibility in the EHR incentive program.
Linda Cramer, Health Information Technology Outreach Coordinator, comes to us with over 20 years of clinical healthcare experience. She will be the contact person for all your questions and will assist with the registration process when it is available. She can be reached at (307)-777-5414
April 20, 2011
April 18, 2011 – CMS announces the opening of the EHR Information Center to provide HITECH attestation assistance to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals. The EHR Information Center is open from 7:30 am to 6:30 (Central Time) Monday through Friday, except federal holidays, at 1-888-734-6433 (primary number) or 888-734-6563 (TTY number). The EHR Information Center works in collaboration with other EHR Incentive Program resources and business partners to answer providers’ questions.
March 10, 2011
March 10, 2011 – As providers and hospitals across the nation move toward full implementation of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), providers in Wyoming are proving up to the task. A recent article in the Saratoga Sun describes how Dr. Dean Bartholomew of the Platte Valley Medical Clinic is able to connect with Dr. Phillip Sharp at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center for real time patient diagnosis and treatment using telehealth technology and EHRs. The ability to share patient data via EHR keeps both doctors up to date on the care each gives the patient. This is yet another example of how providers in Wyoming are embracing this technology to improve health care and delivery to the people of our state.