Changes In Health Care Technology

Several significant changes are sweeping health care and increasing the need for capable EHR software.

ICD-10 is a new problem code set coming, which will require much change for operational readiness. Primarily, the billing staff will be impacted, but providers will have to select from a much larger and detailed problem code list to accurately code for ICD-10. Preparation should start now. The go-live for ICD-10 is Q3 2014 currently, and a lot of education and planning is needed in the mean time.

Meaningful Use – in the meantime, Meaningful Use Stage 2 is on the horizon. Stage 2 increases much of the demands placed on clinics for Stage 1. Patient engagement increases as well as most of the measures for the objectives. This will take planning and preparation as well, and possibly some investment in new technologies.

Health Insurance Exchanges – Expect this to have an impact as well, although it may not be quite as impactful to clinic processes. Many more individuals will be insured. When they become insured, they may be coming to see the doc for problems that they had been ignoring for years. We will have to wait and see what the impact brings, but keep this in mind and watch for impact.

Accountable Care Organizations / Patient Centered Medical Homes – these intiatives will have an impact as well. Even if you are not pursuing either designation currently, the changes to health care payments will certainly impact you in the future, so it is good to be educated as to what the changes will mean. Pay attention to the outcome-based payments and bundled payments, as these are certainly receiving much attention from the payers – including the federal and state payers.

Keep all these initiatives in mind when planning your next year’s objectives. Draw up a roadmap with the various dates and deliverables mapped out. It will be an interesting and exciting time in health care technology over the next few years.