Introduction

Health Information Technology (HIT) is an umbrella term describing the management and use of health information through technology. HIT encompasses development and utilization of Electronic Heath Records (EHRs), secure electronic exchanges of health information, development and utilization of Health Information Exchanges (HIE), as well as other rules and regulations that govern HIT.

 

Cybersecurity and Risk Assessments

Successful practices in the current health care environment depend upon technology, in its many forms, to keep track of payments, patient information and to communicate with physicians and with patients. However, the increasing dependence on these technologies also means an increasing need for awareness of securities and risks. (Updated June 30, 2016) 

 

DocBook

DocbookMD is an exclusive HIPAA-secure application for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets that allows physicians to send HIPAA-compliant messages bundled with photos of x-rays, EKGs, wounds, and more just as if they were sending a text.  A tool designed by physicians and for physicians.

 

2016 Meaningful Use (MU) Requirements 

2016 is the final program year for Meaningful Use. The submission deadline for 2016 has passed and results will affect payment year 2018. 2016 MU hardship application information is also located on this page. (Updated March 2017)     

 

Electronic Health Records (EHR) 

What physicians and practices should know about an EHR, from implementation, conversion, interoperability and reporting. (Updated March 2017)

 

Health Information Exchange

Electronic health information exchange, or "HIE", is the secure electronic exchange of patient personal health information between treating physicians, hospitals, health care payers, and other health care providers involved in the care of the patient. Greater Houston Healthconnect was created to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the Greater Houston Area by providing rapid, electronic access to patient health information. Healthconnect is an independent, community supported organization serving healthcare providers within a 23-county region. (Updated December 2016)

 

Hospital Portals 

This section contains Web portal links to hospitals in the Houston area for physicians to access their patients' clinical and billing information.

 

MACRA and Medicare Payment Reform - Physician Resources

On May 9, 2016 CMS took it's first step forward to implement several critical provisions of The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (aka MACRA) with the release of proposed regulation titled "Medicare Program; Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive under the Physician Fee Schedule and Criteria for Physician Focused Payment Models." (Updated September 2016)

  • Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) - In the law that repealed the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) physician payment methodology, a new payment framework was established consisting of stable fee schedule updates, a new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and incentives for participation in qualifying alternative payment models (APMs).

  • Alternative Payment Models (APMs) - MACRA, practices can propose alternative payment models (APMs) to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that accept two-sided financial risk and use electronic health records and quality measures. “Qualifying APM participants” will not be subject to MIPS adjustments and will receive a lump sum incentive payment equal to 5 percent of the prior year’s estimated aggregate expenditures under the fee schedule. The 5 percent incentive payment is available from 2019 to 2024, but beginning in 2026, the fee schedule growth rate will be higher for qualifying APM participants than for other practitioners. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Patient Centered Medical Homes, and bundled payment models are some examples of APMs. Eligible APMs will be defined by CMS. Proposed rules should be released in Spring 2016. 

Medicaid EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use)

The Texas Medical Association (TMA) has created instructions for participation in the Medicaid Meaningful Use program. Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) also provides a program FAQ(Updated April 2017)  

 

Tips for Using Your EHR

This webpage includes short tips from physician practices on how they were able to improve the use of their EHR systems. The information is specifically organized for practices based on their size. There are tips and case studies for all types of clinics, from small, solo-physician practices to larger, fifty-or-more-physicians practices. (Update in Progress August 2016)

 

Created by HCMS | Revised April 2017