Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Joint Commission imaging requirements in effect

Courtesy: Joint Commission
PARCA eNews – June 30, 2015 – The Joint Commission’s new diagnostic imaging requirements went into effect July 1, 2015, for hospital and ambulatory care programs. The new and revised standards incorporate recommendations from imaging experts, professional associations, and accredited organizations about areas that must be evaluated to ensure the safe delivery of diagnostic imaging services. 

The new requirements address:

  • Imaging equipment testing and maintenance
  • Annual education for staff supporting CT and MRI services

Delaware joins 23 other states requiring breast density reporting

Image courtesy: ACS
PARCA eNews – June 24, 2015 – Delaware’s breast density reporting bill was signed into law by Governor Jack Markell, joining 23 states that have already passed some sort of density reporting legislation. The law will go into effect in 180 days. 

Ready set Go! Regulatory, economic pressures pose challenges

PARCA eNews – June 16, 2015 – The deficit reduction act of 2005, regulatory changes, aging imaging devices and the transition to value-based reimbursement are likely to continue to increase costs and reduce reimbursement for medical imaging groups over the next several years.

The challenges are expected to overwhelm the ability of many freestanding medical imaging practices to survive on the Medicare Physician Fee Service (MPFS) over the next several years and will drive changes in hospital radiology departments.

HHS signals flexibilty for submitting Health IT certification test procedures

PARCA eNews – June 9, 2015 – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a document today detailing the submittal of test procedures and data under the Health IT Certification Program established by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

CMS announces entrepreneurs and innovators to access Medicare data

PARCA eNews – June 2, 2015 – At the recent Health Datapalooza, the acting Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Andy Slavitt, announced a new policy that for the first time will allow innovators and entrepreneurs to access CMS data, such as Medicare claims. 

NHS survey finds need for CT replacement plans

PARCA eNews – June 25, 2015 – A United Kingdom national survey by the National Health Service Clinical Imaging Board (CIB) shows that around 40 percent of CT scanners in use have no funded replacement plans in place.

The research also revealed that more than 1 in 10 NHS organizations responding to the survey said that their CT machines did not have the necessary technology to use of “radiation dose reduction” technologies that is available in newer CT scanners. 

Are your workstations infectious?

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
PARCA eNews – June 30, 2015 – A 2013 study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology found that 64.3 percent of workstation sites had evidence of Staphylococcus aureus and 21.4 percent showed signs of enteric organisms. Microphone and mouse bacterial contamination was significantly greater than that of nearby washroom toilets and doorknobs, but brief antiseptic swabbing almost completely eradicated the bacterial counts.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

National Coordinator outlines strategy for interoperability

Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc
Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, is also the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is a physician who has focused her career toward improving access to affordable, high quality care for all people, especially vulnerable populations, and promoting overall health. She has done this through direct patient care, medical education, policy and administrative roles, research, and public service. She recently discussed her view of the health information technology landscape in an April 24 blog post on Health Affairs Blog. She outlined an agenda for her office that includes incentivizing interoperability, “standardizing standards,” and establishing shared expectations and actions around data security and privacy. If you have time, it is well worth reading in full. 

ONC releases 2015 edition of Draft Test Procedures

PARCA eNews – May 30, 2015 – ONC is releasing draft test procedures concurrently with the release of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), and encourages stakeholders to refer to the NPRM as they review and comment on these test procedures. All test procedures will undergo public review and comment before being finalized and approved by the National Coordinator.

SIIM 2015 presentations highlights security points to remember

Helen Oscislawski, J.D.
PARCA eNews – May 30, 2015 – The main message of recent healthcare data breaches is to learn from other’s mistakes. With that in mind, Helen Oscislawski, Esq., of Oscislawski LLC, gave a list of the top 10 IT security concepts to remember In a SIIM 2015 presentation, May 29.

As compiled by Evan Godt of HealthImaging.com here are six of them:

Do a HIPAA Security Audit – This federal regulation (45 CFR 164.306) provides specifications on the technical, administrative and physical specification of implementing security standards.

HHS announces $1 million in new grant programs for health information sharing

Projects to help long-term and behavioral health care providers

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced in April 2015 the availability of $1 million in grant funds to support community projects for the Community Interoperability Health Information Exchange (HIE) Program. The funding will help support and enable the flow of health information at the community level, leading to better care and better health.

Joint HIMSS-SIIM Enterprise Imaging workgroup invites new members

PARCA eNews – May 29, 2015 – HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) and SIIM (Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine) have joined forces to establish a Joint Workgroup to share enterprise-imaging strategies and to create awareness that images are an essential part of the EHR. 

Dr. Jim Whitfill, SIIM Board Member and the Marketing, Liaison, and Communications Portfolio Lead, reviewed the charter and described the mission, purpose and goals of this collaborative effort of HIMSS and SIIM in his January 2015 SIIM eCommunity forum post.