Although our local groundhog said that spring was just around the corner, I’m not sure I believe it. The grey skies seem to match the mood of many of our hospital’s administrators, as they come up with long lists of IT-related projects to keep us busy even though we already have plenty to do.
Regardless of the CMS plans to shorten this year’s reporting period to 90 days, we now have a month’s worth of data and are heading out to our practices to remediate staff and reinforce workflows. It’s a good time to deliver training since business tends to be down in many practices during the first part of the year. With patients having not yet met their ever-increasing deductibles, they tend to be reluctant to come in unless absolutely needed.
I’ve been in touch with some friends in vendor circles, hearing about their plans for HIMSS and specifically what they are planning to help draw people into their booths. I’m not a fan of so-called booth babes (unless they are wearing amazing shoes and can also talk about the product they are representing) and “must be present to win” giveaways don’t do the trick either. One vendor promises a close encounter of the sensory kind, including both aromas and edibles. Knowing the team involved, I can’t way to see what they cook up.
As I sat having dinner with someone wearing a watch that would have made Dick Tracy do a double take, I remembered that an intrepid reader had sent me an article about jewelry that camouflages tech rather than showing it off. I’ve been keeping my eye on Ringly but hadn’t realized they raised more than $5 million last month. Although I’ve enjoyed my GPS watch and think it’s motivated me to be more active, I do wish Garmin offered something that didn’t scream “Runner!” and looked a little more businesslike.
One of the email digests I receive had a link to a fluff piece about the November round of ICD-10 testing. The American Academy of Professional Coders polled 2,000 participants, concluding that the results were positive with 90 percent reporting no payment shifts in test claims. I wasn’t able to get my hands on the full results, but some of the numbers cited looked a bit strange without current ICD-9 results for comparison. If anyone participated in testing, we’d love to hear about your experience. Additional testing is planned for April.
Speaking of ICD-10, we are planning to start training (again) at our hospital and outpatient offices within the next month. We had begun orienting providers prior to the delay and I have to admit there no longer seems to be any urgency about it. Some probably think it will be delayed again and others are just tired of the ongoing parade of regulatory changes. Our online sign-up sheets are remarkably empty, so we’ll have to start doing outreach to try to draw people in. Some specialties will face larger challenges than others and I’d rather not have a flurry of “emergency” training in September.
ONC held its annual meeting this week in Washington DC. I’d be interested to hear impressions from attendees. In particular, was there actually a fire for the Fireside Chat with Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist? Email me.
Email Dr. Jayne.