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National Health IT Week

femalke doctor interacting with virtual healthcare interface

Advancing Health IT Through Service, Education and Awareness

Next week is National Health IT Week, an event co-sponsored by HIMSS, CHIME and the Institute for e-Health Policy to help raise awareness of the value of health IT. Adoption of health information technology, such as Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas software solutions, decreases medical errors, improves the quality of healthcare delivery and provides tools for patient engagement which strengthens the interactions between patients and their providers. Healthcare IT is even one of the key drivers behind healthcare reform.

One of the four themes/points of engagement for this year's Health IT week is: Expanding Economic Opportunities and Job Creation - Women in Health IT and STEM Careers for Health. It is interesting to note that women account for nearly half of the US labor force, however they hold only 25% of senior health IT roles nationwide.

As a women executive in health IT, I’ve seen first-hand the impact that IT can make in healthcare. Prior to joining Konica Minolta, I worked as a HIT Project Manager and EHR Implementation Specialist under a Regional Extension Center in California. I was tasked with providing subsidized technical assistance to primary care providers, rural health clinics and critical access hospitals with implementation of certified electronic health records systems, workflow redesign and ultimately successfully achieving Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria.

Throughout this experience, I’ve witnessed how changes to reimbursement and government regulations and policies, including Meaningful Use, impact providers. Now, in my role as EHR Product Manager at Konica Minolta, we can help customers navigate through these changes—and in many cases our consultative services may be free of charge.

This year, providers—our customers—are now faced with adjusting to MACRA (The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act), which repeals the Medicare Part B Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reimbursement formula and replaces it with a new value-based reimbursement system called the Quality Payment Program.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed rule for MACRA in April, 2016. The Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is one of two parts of this program. MIPS consolidates three existing quality reporting programs: Meaningful Use, Physician Quality Reporting System and Value Based Payment Modifier as well as adds a new program, Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIA) into a single system.

Beginning in 2019, physicians participating in MIPS will be eligible for positive or negative Medicare payment adjustments that start at 4 percent and gradually increase to 9 percent for 2022.

For more information on MACRA visit: Based Programs/MACRA-MIPS and APMs

It is important to remember that healthcare reform is not possible without system-wide adoption of health information technology. Konica Minolta HCIT is dedicated to providing our customers with certified software solutions that help them meet the evolving and ongoing federal reimbursement rule and to maximize their investment in Konica Minolta solutions. The Exa Platform, which includes EHR, is our flagship Healthcare IT solution.

Because of the complexity of these ever changing regulations, we understand that there can be confusion on what actions providers need to take to ensure that they are successful with achieving Meaningful Use and reporting via MIPS. As a Konica Minolta customer and user of Konica Minolta software solutions, there is no additional charge for our consultative services regarding Meaningful Use and MIPS—it is included with our customer support agreements.

In addition to providing regular updates to our customers of any changes or potential changes to Federal Regulations surrounding these programs, we also have an EHR/Quality Reporting team that is available to provide education and assistance with reporting Meaningful Use and MIPS to our provider clients.

We’re also working on new features and functionality to expand our offering and prepare Exa to pass certification under the 2015 ONC Test Edition to enable providers to report MIPS. We’ll keep you posted of our progress in this blog.

As your partner in the advancement of health information technology to help improve healthcare, Konica Minolta understands the value of health IT and is committed to it. Part of that commitment is taking advantage of Healthcare IT best practices and personnel; this includes the recent relocation of our global Healthcare Information Technology R&D center to Raleigh, North Carolina. Our team is here to help you when and where needed.