POLICY WATCH: RISARC CEO Richard Stephenson Asks, Did Hillary Clinton’s Message to the Healthcare Industry at HIMSS14 on Electronic Health Records Get it Right?
The information mined from electronic health records is also capable of reforming the kind of care that providers deliver and it can be used as an incentive for better outcomes.
Burbank, California (PRWEB) March 11, 2014 Richard Stephenson, Founder and CEO of RISARC, a leading national high-technology and revenue recovery consulting firm to the health care industry, has endorsed the view of Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that federally-mandated electronic health records (EHR) are transforming the health care industry.
Secretary Clinton appeared at the Annual Conference on February 26. HIMSS is the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the world’s largest global health information-technology association. HIMSS is based in Chicago and has more than 52,000 members worldwide.
Said Stephenson: “Secretary Clinton, herself a pioneer advocate for a broad national healthcare system, was on point in her address at this important annual conference of the health care industry’s IT leaders. The success of the Affordable Care Act depends a great deal on the efficiencies that electronic health records are bringing to the industry.”
“We are finally seeing the promise of electronic health care records leaving behind the outdated, obsolete, 20th Century – in some cases, 19th and 18th Century – ways that records are kept,” said Secretary Clinton at the conference which was held in Orlando, Florida.
Secretary Clinton spoke of the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans when thousands lost their paper-based health care records in the storm’s destruction. Clinton expressed particular concern for the thousands of elderly patients who relied heavily on this information contained in that mountain of paper work lost in the floods and building disasters across the city for maintaining their prescriptions and treatment plans.
In the same week, Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services, spoke about far reaching challenges that the EHR revolution is bringing to the industry. Secretary Sebelius addressed the Care Innovation Summit put on by the Aspen Institute and Advisory Board Co. in Washington on February 27.
Said Stephenson: “The $20-billion electronic health records incentive program, part of the 2009 federal stimulus package, was intended principally to aid in the efficient management of individual health care regimens. Under the leadership of Secretary Sebelius and her team at HHS, the abundant digital information mined from individual EHRs is also capable of providing the structure and tools enabling a health-first attitude in wellness, diagnosis and treatment. ACA gives healthcare providers the structure and tools to develop a health first attitude – leading to better patient care, management and provider/patient partnerships by improving access on both sides to critical medical documentation.”
But that only happens, according to Stephenson, if the information is made widely available. An initiative inside Secretary Sebelius’ own HHS has begun to do just that.
Said Stephenson: “The new Hospital Compare website, sponsored by Secretary Sebelius, protects anonymity but aggregates and repurposes the information now flowing into the federal system. It also allows patients to match and compare their own experiences in categories such as patient experience, average wait times and whether a hospital has medical imaging capabilities.”
A July 2013 press release on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website points out that approximately 80 percent of eligible hospitals and more than 50 percent of eligible professionals have adopted EHRs and received incentive payments from Medicare or Medicaid. The article continues, stating that the upside of EHRs is, according to CMS Administrator, Marilyn Tavenner: “Electronic health records are transforming relationships between patients and their health care providers. EHRs improve care coordination, reduce duplicative tests and procedures, help patients take more control of their health and result in better overall health outcomes.“
Added Stephenson: “I see this as Obamacare 2.0. The first stage of healthcare reform was to provide broad public access to care and to convince the industry to elevate its game with digitized EHRs. As virtually all providers and insurers have come on board, we are now seeing the way that this abundant digital information will quickly transform everything acrossthe landscape – from public health, Medicare and clinical trials to spending on healthcare by the public and private individuals.”
RISARC is a leading national high-technology and revenue recovery consulting firm to the health care industry. RISARC, founded in 1990, has recovered over $1 billion for its clients. The company offers the RMSe-bubbleTM for secure electronic document exchange and the signature RISARC 360° single-source solution that combines health care revenue cycle expertise with innovative cloud-based, cost-saving technology to help clients optimize existing resources, meet business objectives and reach financial goals. RISARC is a pioneer in health care technology solutions and is a certified Health Information Handler for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, esMD project. The RMSe-bubble provides the industry’s best secure, HIPAA-compliant environment for electronic record and document exchange and has been endorsed and accepted by providers, commercial insurance carriers and government agencies across the United States.