Veterans Affairs, Defense Depts. spend billions in effort to coordinate records

By Hannah Winston

News21 investigation finds Veterans Affairs, Defense departments dropped at least $1.3B on failed records system.

Feds 'listen' for sounds of Medicare billing abuse

By Fred Schulte

Baltimore session looks at role of electronic health records in higher medical bills.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kathleen Sebelius":

"… ent officials swung into action. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder fired off a stern letter to five prominen …"

GOP senators call for overhaul of electronic health records program

By Fred Schulte

Report says $35 billion Obama administration stimulus program not working

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… ud and abuse from errant billing, a process known as “upcoding.” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric H …"

"… titled “REBOOT: Re-examining the Strategies Needed to Successfully Adopt Health IT” was released on Tuesday by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Lamar Alexa …"

Electronic medical records probed for over-billing

By Fred Schulte

Are feds doing all they can to ferret out waste from move to electronic records?

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… talk of how wiring up medicine might raise doctor billings when President George W. Bush in 2004 set the goal of creating a digital medical record for every Americ …"

Feds tighten scrutiny of health records

By Fred Schulte

Feds increase scrutiny of how electronic systems affect billing

Medicare paid $3.6 billion for electronic health records but didn't verify quality goals were met

By Fred Schulte

Medicare paid providers billions to adopt electronic records without checking to see they're meeting quality goals

IMPACT: HHS IG pledges focus on Medicare billing abuse involving electronic records

By Fred Schulte

HHS inspector general announces focus on Medicare billing abuse involving electronic records

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… the program” to taxpayers.  …"

"… mmarized the inspector general’s “work plan,” for 2013, a listing of Medicare and Medicaid fraud fighting efforts the agency plans to emphasize.  T …"

"… al professionals have steadily billed higher rates for treating seniors on Medicare over the last decade — adding $11 billion or more to their fees. The inv …"

"… adding $11 billion or more to their fees. The investigation suggested that Medicare billing errors and abuses are worsening as doctors and hospitals switch to …"

IMPACT: Administration official asks for Medicare billing review

By Fred Schulte

Administration official wants to know if electronic health records are causing Medicare over-billing

Excerpts from this story referencing "Technology":

"… , the Obama administration’s National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, said in an interview Monday afternoon that his policy-setting committee o …"

Billing complexity spawns new industry

By Fred Schulte

Thousands now employed as professional coders, but oversight is lacking.

Growth of electronic medical records eases path to inflated bills

By Fred Schulte

Billing software helps medical professionals document higher fees.

Panel recommends new agency to investigate safety of health information technology

By Kimberly Leonard

Institute of Medicine panel recommends new regulatory body, not FDA

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Transportation Safety Board":

"… create and fund a new independent watchdog agency, along the lines of the National Transportation Safety Board. Like NTSB, the new agency would conduct investigations and make recommend …"

As states build exchanges, questions linger about interoperability

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Lingering questions about interoperability of state health information exchanges

Excerpts from this story referencing "executive director":

"… e first state to begin establishing a model for its exchange. Dr. Jan Lee, executive director of the state’s effort, said they are starting to look across their borde …"

Stimulus funds will build state health exchanges but might not sustain them

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Federal stimulus money will build exchanges, but may not be enough to sustain them

Health information technology: Keep it simple

By Kimberly Leonard

Reports say systems must be understandable to avoid dangerous medical errors

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… echnical Evaluation, Testing and Validation of the Usability of Electronic Health Records,” is available for informal public comment until Nov. 10, 2011. …"

"… ion of the patient record because the system is daunting to practitioners. Health care providers might also be confused about how to access the information …"

"… attributable to the perplexing nature of the technology, the report says. Health care providers have been deterred from going digital, other researchers ha …"

Health information technology: Incentives may not always serve intended purpose

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Some payments may be going to doctors who have been using electronic health records for years

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congressional Budget Office":

"… e costs ranging from $3,000 to $9,000, according to a 2008 report from the Congressional Budget Office. Participants have through the end of 2013 to participate in the first sta …"

"… lth information technology. Coburn noted that according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, “the use of health information technology was already projected to be w …"

Privacy advocates want stricter rules for online, patient-controlled health records

By Kimberly Leonard

Privacy groups say clearer rules are needed for online, patient-controlled health records, but an HHS study of the issue is 18 months late

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Trade Commission":

"… been attempting for years to beef up protections, with little success. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) acts as a partial safeguard for the public when it comes to handling …"

"… secute cases of unfair or deceptive practices outlined in Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.  For instance, if a company says in its policy that it will neve …"

Doctors skittish about health technology despite promise of big federal bucks

By Susan Jaffe

The federal government is paying physicians billions to adopt electronic health records, but doctors still aren't sure they want the cash

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… records would let him generate a list every month of patients at risk for diabetes who need blood sugar levels checked. The list would also identify patients …"

"… as simple as electronic reminders prompted doctors to screen patients for diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer, and increased the number of patients who …"

Tentative security definition confuses health care providers, privacy groups

By Kimberly Leonard

When must health providers tell patients that their personal information was breached? Rule pending.

Telehealth bill aims to expand health IT access for home care providers

By Kimberly Leonard and Josh Israel

A proposed new Senate bill would give home care providers in rural areas access to Medicare payments for audio and video home monitoring. ..

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… al areas and other underserved communities may soon be eligible to receive Medicare payments for audio and video home monitoring under a Senate bill reintrodu …"

"… hnologies themselves could help reduce home health visits somewhat, saving Medicare money.“It is not meant to replace the in-person assessment, but to suppl …"

"… al and other underserved communities to receive incentive payments through Medicare. Home health care agencies that take part in the program would receive fun …"

"… in the program would receive funds each year based on a percentage of the Medicare savings that result from telehealth services. The effort would be managed …"

Will digital technology reduce gap in health between rich and poor?

By Emma Schwartz

Two years ago, the Ethio American Health Center opened its doors in the nation’s capital, promising the country’s largest community of Ethio

Excerpts from this story referencing "digital technology":

"… es like diabetes and hypertension, conditions that some research has shown digital technology can help address. Government officials hope that having electronic data wi …"

"… Alliance for Hispanic Health, an advocacy group.Research showing that this digital technology reduces disparities in health care is still quite limited. Most researcher …"

Push for safety oversight of electronic medical records is moving at a crawl

By Emma Schwartz

Nearly two years after the Obama administration announced plans to spend $40 billion to help doctors and hospitals adopt electronic medical

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… f H.I.T. [health information technology],” said Peter Pronovost, medical director of the Center for Innovations in Quality Patient Care at Johns Hopkins Uni …"

"… ected, part of the challenge in identifying problems, said William Munier, director of the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Agency for …"

FDA, Obama digital medical records team at odds over safety oversight

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Previously undisclosed hospital mixup underscores challenges on road to reform

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kathleen Sebelius":

"… are branches of the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is a key player in the administration’s health reform agenda.The same da …"

Are new digital networks part of the cure?

By Emma Schwartz

Targeting the chronically ill, Obama Administration bets millions

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… tudy in the Journal of the American Medical Association questioned whether Medicare disease management programs led to fewer hospital admissions and lowered c …"

Amid digital records surge, a lack of policing by the FDA

By Emma Schwartz and Fred Schulte

Government offers incentives to buy electronic devices it doesn't track for safety

Excerpts from this story referencing "inspector":

"… nst companies that didn’t filed them as required.In that report, the HHS inspector general found the FDA’s in-house system of tracking events, known as MAU …"

"… ts lacked basic details or appeared to be misclassified—all problems the inspector general report found “hinders analysts’ review.”In response to writt …"

As doctors shift to electronic health systems, signs of harm emerge

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Reports link system malfunctions to injuries, deaths

Effort to track medical safety issues faces long road ahead

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Panel seeks centralized data on hazards related to digital systems

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… s plan.Under the stimulus bill, doctors can receive up to $44,000 in extra Medicare payments if they adopt a digital medical record system and make “meaning …"

FDA asks hospitals to report safety glitches in digital health systems

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

In letter to 350 health centers, agency signals growing concern

Experts: Safety oversight needed as patient records go digital

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

With digital transition approaching for many practices, safety and security issues continue to surface

Excerpts from this story referencing "Charles E. Grassley":

"… ovation and responsiveness when it is needed most.”  U.S. Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, also has …"

Shopping for health software, some doctors get buyer’s remorse

By Emma Schwartz

Volatile industry prompts calls for oversight of firms’ financial strength

Excerpts from this story referencing "Technology":

"… oversight through the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), a nonprofit organization contracted by the government to certify …"

As health files go digital, patients may spot unpleasant surprises

By Fred Schulte

Sensitive questions arise about access to online medical data