Impact Insights

Week in Review 7/18/2014

The HIMSS EHR Association, which represents nearly 40 EHR vendors, is urging CMS to issue a Final Rule on the proposed changes to meaningful use, “as soon as possible.” CMS originally published the proposed rule that would offer significant flexibility in 2014 around which edition of CEHRT providers can use, and which Stage of MU they can attest to, back on May 23rd.

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  Unfortunately, the Final Rule is unlikely to come as soon as most would like. The public comment period does not close until July 21st. After that date, CMS is still required to review and respond to all issues raised by commenters. Additionally, it is important to remember that 2015 is right around the corner. Even if the proposed rule is adopted word for word, the 2015 reporting period would still be a full year for most providers, and 2014 Edition CEHRT would again be required.


U.S. News & World Report has published its annual list of “Best Hospitals” in the country. Scores in the 2014-15 report are based on four elements: reputation with specialists (27.5%); patient survival rates relative to other hospitals (32.5%); patient safety (10%); and “other care-related indicators” such as nurse staffing and adoption of technology (30%). The top five on this year’s “Honor Roll” (i.e. hospitals with “very high scores” in at least six specialties) are:

1. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN)
2. Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)
3. Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore)
4. Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland)
5. UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles)

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts: Making the U.S. News & World Report “Honor Roll” (or even doing well in the statewide rankings) is definitely a big deal for most delivery organizations, and the detailed scoring system serves as an interesting example of one way to quantify a hospital’s performance. Congratulations to those mentioned.


On the lighter side… Healthcare Dive provides a hilarious list of the “16 Most Absurd ICD-10 Codes.” And believe it or not, these are real! Among the ones Impact Advisors finds most amusing include Sucked into jet engine, subsequent encounter and Spacecraft collision injuring occupant, sequela

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  There has been frustration with the transition to ICD-10, but one of the most important benefits of the new codes is the increased granularity, allowing providers to capture significantly more details as part of the billing and care delivery process.  Of course, codes such as Burn due to water-skis on fire, subsequent encounter may be taking that concept a bit too far. ;)