Advancements in health IT, enhanced patient engagement, ICD-10 and information governance (IG) all rely on clean, granular and accurate data.

The July issue of the Journal of AHIMA features a story, “Reinventing CDI,” that analyzes the trend of organizations relaunching and reworking data integrity efforts with clinical documentation improvement (CDI) programs.

While healthcare organizations and providers are addressing strategies for engaging patient populations in the pursuit of incentive or value-based reimbursements, payers are actively looking for ways to engage this same population as consumers in the name of healthcare reform.

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Though there are many advantages to the implementation of EHRs, the bottom line is, and always has been, to provide better healthcare to patients. "The plan was that the money would be used in a way that will have a good outcome for patients," said Robert Wah, president of the American Medical Association, speaking of the original intention of the incentive program.

While it is still a little early to have strong data on the effects of the EHR Incentive Program itself, some of the early news about meaningful use and the adoption of EHRs in general is quite promising.

Over the past few months, Kelly Marulanda, who manages a four-physician pediatric practice in Woodstock, Ga., has experienced many changes in her day-to-day responsibilities. One of the biggest: She's spending more time assessing patients' insurance, and explaining how it works. has identified some basic healthcare concerns that will govern decision-making and policies in the year 2014. Some of the most prominent challenges that healthcare practitioners face today can be listed as follows.

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Doctor with MoneyWe know that the responsibility of paying for medical bills is increasingly shifting to the consumer. The growth of high-deductible plans - on and off the healthcare exchanges - has dramatically shifted the percentage of overall financial responsibility to patients over the last decade.

The other day, my daughter, who is 14, was tending our neighbor’s little girls. She brought them over to our home for an activity of making cookies. It has been a long time since we have had young children, in our home. I had forgotten how active they can be and how much trouble they can get into. I felt like I was constantly watching everything they did just to make sure that nothing happened to them. I didn’t want them to somehow drink drain cleaner or play in the toilet.

With payer networks narrowing and patients' out-of-pocket expenses rising, patient loyalty isn't what it was. But while many variables go into a patient's decision of whether to stick with a healthcare provider, research compiled by Medscape indicates strong relationships are critical to patient retention.

Now that the healthcare industry has another year to work on the ICD-10 transition, there will be a temptation to put a lot of steps on hold. When it comes to working with healthcare payers, this is a great time to forge ahead. Because you can create better relationships now with your healthcare payers while not so many medical practices are thinking about their delayed ICD-10 transitions. Read the source article at welcome

On Thursday, July 17, HIMSS submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) on their proposed rule modifying the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive program.