To meet Meaningful Use measures for Stage 1 and Stage 2 Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Eligible Hospitals (EHs) must register their intent to submit data within the first 60 days of their selected reporting period to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
IDPH, as the Public Health Authority (PHA), is tasked with registering EPs and EHs that intend to submit data to IDPH in fulfillment of Meaningful Use Requirements.

EP Stage 1,   EP Stage 2,   EH Stage 1,   EH Stage 2

This registration system will collect the required information for your facility and will inform IDPH of your request to test, validate and submit production-level data for core and optional Public Health Meaningful Use objectives.

A Critical Software Update for Apple iOS

A very serious security flaw has been discovered in Apple’s iOS operating system.  This flaw impacts all iPhones and iPads.  If you use one of these devices, you should immediately apply a critical software update that Apple released over the weekend.
To apply this update, go to your Settings app, click General then Software Update then click Download and Install and follow the instructions.  You will need to be connected to WiFi to apply this update.

The security issue involves a flaw that will expose communications that should be encrypted, like e-mail and certain other types of messaging.  We recommend that all users of iPhones and iPads apply this update without delay.  Please share this improtant information with your teams.

Former Hospital CFO Charged with Healthcare Fraud by Falsely Attesting for Meaningful Use Incentives

Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Eligible Hospitals (EHs) could easily lead to errors in meaningful use (MU) attestations. If audited these errors would turn up based on pre- and post-payment attestations and separate the knowledge gaps from willful actions.

As for looking at this case a grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.” For the details of the indictment we have the FBI to thank:

“Joe White, 66, of Cameron, Texas, was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 22, 2014, and charged with making false statements to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and aggravated identity theft.”

“According to the indictment, on November 20, 2012, White falsely attested to CMS that Shelby Regional Medical Center (Shelby Regional) met the meaningful use requirements for the 2012 fiscal year. However, Shelby Regional relied on paper records throughout the fiscal year and only minimally used electronic health records. To give the false appearance that the hospital was actually using Certified Electronic Health Record Technology, White directed its software vendor and hospital employees to manually input data from paper records into the electronic health record (EHR) software, often months after the patient was discharged and after the end of the fiscal year.”

“The indictment further alleges that White falsely attested to the hospital’s meaningful use by using another person’s name and information without that individual’s consent or authorization. As a result of the false attestation, CMS paid Shelby Regional $785,655. In total, hospitals operated by Dr. Mahmood, including Shelby Regional, were paid $16,794,462.66 by the Medicaid and Medicare EHR incentive programs for fiscal years 2011 and 2012.”

“If convicted, White faces up to five years in federal prison for making a false statement and up to two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft.”

As more and more federal stimulus money is made available to providers to adopt Electronic Health Record systems and meaningfully use them our firm is expecting to see many more cases like this case.

If you need help with a Meaningful Use Audit, Meaningful Use Appeal,  Mock Audit or Have Questions on Attesting for Meaningful Use we would be happy to help you to avoid these pitfalls.  Feel free to contact Vanessa Bisceglie MBA, B.S. with EHR & Practice Management Consultants, Inc.  at 800-376-0212 or email her at

For 2014 eRX Events You No Longer Need to Report G-codes (G8553)

Did you know that 2013 was the final program year for participating and reporting in the Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program?

The 6-month 2014 eRx payment adjustment reporting period, which began on January 1, 2013 and ended on June 30, 2013, was the final reporting period to avoid the 2014 eRx payment adjustment. You do not need to report G-codes (G8553) for 2014 eRx events.

Thinking Outside the Box: Combining Sexual Health and Portals

Considering there are Roughly 330 million people in this country there are 110 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among men and women with 20 million new STIs reported each year.  The CDC calculates the costs to patients and our country each year to be at 16 billion annually.

Additionally, City health departments in Maryland are seeing local repercussions, too. 40% of people tested for STIs at the Baltimore Department of Health’s clinics don’t receive their results because they don’t come back for their test outcomes. Therefore, some of these patients will never find out they have an STI and will not receive treatment and risk the safety of their sexual partner.

Private Results, an online, open-source STI test results delivery system created by the folks at Sexual Health Innovations.

Jessica Ladd, Founder, who has worked in sexual health for the past 10 years, said Private Results acts as a patient portal, but a more holistic, personalized one compared to many portals today.

Jessica Ladd as well as many other people who use patient portals to day to receive lab results believe that they should not just deliver results but be powerful educational tools to help them protect their own health.

When logged in to Private Results it provides an individual where and when to be re-screened for STIs, choose to receive text or email screening reminders and find the closest place to buy condoms.

Individuals who were tested for an STI are given a card containing portal login information from their local clinic. They can then login to view their test results. To eliminate confusion for people who may think ‘positive’ is a good thing, rather than listing, say, ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ for chlamydia, the results are clearly explained that positive denotes you have the disease, or negative means you do not.

Providers are also able to sign in on the back end to view and better understand incidence numbers, what patients need follow ups and individual labs, making Private Results a powerful public health tool.

What Private Results dies is not only provide patient portals to patients to patients and providers but to the overall public heath sector taking this a step further than the traditional patient portal.
This open source tool is designed to disrupt this area and allow this area to become more collaborative.  Additionally, they are building an API into Private Results that makes it really easy to share real-time STI outbreak data between a clinic, a local health department and a state department, and for them to send data back to providers about possible outbreaks occurring.  This may help change how frequently they screen certain communities for emerging STIs.

Patients Who Actively Engage With Patient Portals Have Better Outcomes and Lower Costs to Care

If improving patients’ health matters, and your organization’s bottom line is top of mind, then the notion of patient engagement should catch your attention.

It’s a hot topic in today’s world, as more and more clinical evidence underscoring the benefits of patient engagement catches the industry spotlight.

Chanin Wendling from Geisinger Health System said the numbers do the talking when they conducted by research at the University of Oregon.  They examined health engagement data on approximately 30,000 patients across 40 Minnesota-based primary care clinics. At the conclusion of their research they found patients that had the lowest patient engagement levels cost from 8% to 21% more than the patients who were actively engaged in their health.

“I can sit with a patient as a provider and tell them they need to stop smoking and that all of their health issues stem from the fact that they’re smoking, but I can’t actually stop the smoking for the patients themselves,” said Wendling. “I can get them counseling; I can send them to the appropriate resources, but the patient actually has to take steps themselves to be involved in their healthcare.”

Geisinger health system utilized text messaging, portals, iPads and touch screens to connect patients to their care.

“Unfortunately, providers have very little time with patients,” added Wendling. So, “if you can get the patient to be actively involved in managing their conditions, life is better both from the patient health outcomes perspective as well as the cost to the system.”

For more information on selecting and implementing a patient portal in your medical office (practice) or hospital please contact Vanessa Bisceglie M.B.A., B.S. at EHR & Practice Management Consultants, Inc. 847-322-0139 or

How Patient Portals In Stage 2 will Impact Patient Engagement

Lori Posk, MD and Levin of Cleveland Clinic pointed out 5 key changes in how patients react with their organization via a patient portal which lead a dramatic experience to their patient’s experience.

1) Open Access Scheduling

2) Patient Education

3) Open Medical Records Policy

4) Two-way messaging via a patient portal

5) Patient Reported Outcomes – Patients entering information into their own records.  This information beomes part of the clinical workflow, enabling doctors to track their patients’ progress, and potentially modify their care, between visits

There are many ways beyond the ones listed above that patients can use patient portals to improve their health and care.  Additionally, among the portals that exist today some portals have various features other than noted above to make communication with your provider and provider’s office.  For instance, many patients like the ability to send medication refill requests via the portal to avoid the long waits on the phone as more patients are receiving insurance in 2014.

The National Institutes of Health funded researchers from Kaiser Permanente and the University of California, San Francisco Medical School to follow 17,760 patients with diabetes who received care from Kaiser Permanente between January 2006 through December 2010.

Medication non-adherence and poorly controlled cholesterol declined by 6% among exclusive users of the online refill function, compared to occasional users or non-users.

Diabetic patients who used an online patient portal to refill medications increased their medication adherence and improved their cholesterol levels, according to a new study in the journal of Medical Care.

Patient Portals have conveniently been made mandatory in 2014 with the rise of Obamacare.  It is my belief the timing was done not only to help patients manage their care better but in order for the physicians to be able to manage their practice better as additional patients will be receiving insurance due to Obamacare.

For more information on selecting and implementing a patient portal in your medical office (practice) or hospital please contact Vanessa Bisceglie M.B.A., B.S. at EHR & Practice Management Consultants, Inc. 847-322-0139 or

What are the Parameters for Patient Portals In Stage 2 Meaningful Use?

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Requirement for Patient Portals will not only Increase Patient Engagement but it May Have A Positive Impact on  A Patient’s Life!

According to CMS, New Stage 2 measures for several objectives will require patients to use health information technology in order for their providers to achieve meaningful use.  Patient engagement Stage 2 objectives include:

  • Providing patients the ability to view online, download and transmit their health information
    • More than 5 percent of patients seen by the eligible professional or admitted to an inpatient or emergency department of an eligible hospital or critical access hospital view, download, or transmit to a third party their health information.
  • Using secure electronic messaging to communicate with patients on relevant health information
    • More than 5 percent of unique patients seen by the eligible professional send a secure message using the electronic messaging function of certified EHR technology

What Stage 2 Engagement Means for Patients
Patient Portals are to protect the privacy, confidentiality, and security of that information. Stage 2 requires bidirectional, secure email messaging with patients – so a provider and patient can connect and exchange information in a secure and convenient format.

Patient “portals” give patients online access to view, download or send their health information to another provider.  Additionally, patient portals give patients quick and easy access to important information such as: lab test results, a list of current medications, and hospital discharge instructions.

These changes set the foundation for patients to better understand their health status and the care they are provided, which can lead to better outcomes.

For more information on selecting and implementing a patient portal in your medical office (practice) or hospital please contact Vanessa Bisceglie M.B.A., B.S. at EHR & Practice Management Consultants, Inc. 847-322-0139 or


Stage 2 Meaningful Use CMS Update Regarding Transition of Care Measure

New Tool Enables Providers to Meet Transitions of Care Measure

Are you a provider who is demonstrating Stage 2 of meaningful use? If so, a new tool called the Randomizer will let you exchange data with a Test EHR in order to meet measure #3 of the Stage 2 transitions of care requirement.
The transitions of care requirement for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals includes three measures. Measure #3 is outlined below:

  • Conduct one or more successful electronic exchanges of a summary of care document with a recipient who has EHR technology that was developed by a different EHR technology developer than yours, or
  • Conduct one or more successful tests with the CMS designated test EHR during the EHR reporting period.

How to Use the Tool
You must register with EHR Randomizer and it will pair your EHR technology with a different test EHR from the list of authorized systems. Then, send a Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (CCDA) summary of care record, not containing patient information, to the Test EHR.

Test EHRs will email you in one day of the test, with notification of success or failure. A notification of a successful test may be used as proof of meeting the transitions of care measure.

Refer to the Randomizer Test Instructions and FAQs for more information.


Medicare Meaningful Use EP Attestation Extended until March 31st at 11:59 pm EST

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has extended the deadline for EP attestation to March 31 at 11:59 pm EST.

CMS is offering assistance to hopsitals having difficulty submitting their attestations, enabling them to submit retroactively and avoid the 2015 payment adjustment. Hospitals are to contact CMS, at, by March 15 for assistance in submitting retroactively.

The extension does not cover the PQRS  or the Medicaid Meaningful Use Program.

If you have any questions regarding attesting in 2013 feel free to contact me and our team will be happy to help you attest!

Vanessa Bisceglie M.B.A, B.S.,  President,  EHR & Practice Management Consultants, Inc.  800-376-0212  847-322-0139