Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

The latest issue of the journal American Health & Drug Benefits includes a valuable mix of studies and articles of interest to decision makers. Topics include health reform, bundled payment, drug pricing, benefit design, Medicaid, medication therapy, and specific clinical conditions. The Health Reform Law: Key Changes to Be Implemented...
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to contract with an organization to help CMS modernize the business processes, information technology, data, and planning and analytical capabilities used to manage Medicare, Medicaid, and health reform at the federal level. Today, CMS faces extraordinary policy and management challenges...
Medicare and Medicaid payment incentives are available for hospitals, physicians, and certain other healthcare professionals that implement and use Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems.  To receive the payment incentives, eligible providers must engage in meaningful use of federally certified EHR systems. The federal health information technology initiative, created under the...
Are you ready to be an Accountable Care Organization (ACO)? Significant new opportunities and challenges face health systems, hospitals, and physician practices as they decide whether to participate in the new Medicare Shared Savings Program and join together to form an Accountable Care Organization. Accountable Care Organizations: Your Guide to Strategy, Design, and Implementation is...
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is hosting a free webinar on Using Health Information Technology for Chronic Disease Management.  Webinar is set for Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at 11:30 am EST. During the 90-minute conference, participants can watch and listen as presenters share their experiences, lessons learned, and insights into the potential of...
Governors and state policymakers are looking at methods for making better use of information technology (IT).  State IT assessments aim to rectify four primary challenges: Disconnected hardware and software systems that hinder data share and cause redundancies. Outdated or restrictive IT procurement requirements. A focus on IT for program implementation as opposed...
A study funded by AHRQ and published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Transmitting and processing electronic prescriptions: Experiences of physician practices and pharmacies, identifies both the benefits and challenges with electronic prescribing (eRx) practices. Authors believe that, as more physicians convert to electronic health record...
As the second-largest health care service purchaser, employers have an opportunity to use their substantial market leverage as a means to augment quality. If mobilized and motivated, employers could act as a key change agent by influencing other stakeholder groups, exercising a leadership role, and pushing community health plans...
Care coordination is a process that ensures a patient’s health services and information sharing preferences and needs are met. Care coordination, a critical component during the nation’s current shift from a fragmented system toward one that stresses accountability and continuity, is primarily accomplished by people as opposed to technology....
Electronic prescribing in the U.S. is becoming mainstream, with e-prescribing use by physicians quadrupling since 2008.  Medication adherence is increasing as a result of increased use of eRx. The National Progress Report on E-Prescribing and Interoperable Healthcare Year 2011, a report by Surescripts, provides interesting information on e-prescription use, adoption, and impact on...

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