Look who's questioning HIEs, upcoding and patient safety

Welcome back to “Doc Talk,” Medical Practice Insider’s Friday feature wherein we highlight some of the week’s best quips shared by readers, bloggers and interviewees alike. Were you in on any of these conversations? Have something more to say on the matter? Click through and keep the conversation going.

Look before you leap

Health information exchanges are picking up steam, especially when it comes to physician participation.

Of course, this doesn’t come as a surprise to Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative CEO Micky Tripathi. But while the benefits are prevalent, there are still some precautions every interested practice should keep in mind.

“Someone on your team will have to take responsibility for the implementation and the ongoing support, as well as the policy alignment you're going to have — whether it relates to consent or whatever the HIE is going to require of participants. I would go into it with eyes fully open," Tripathi said.

Find out what else he suggests here.

The trend that cried wolf

“We can maybe dial back that effort — we should certainly be worried about fraud and track it down, but we don’t need to have a large scale, resource-intensive effort,” Julia Adler-Milstein, PhD, University of Michigan Schools of Information and Public Health, said on the topic of EHR use being a contributor to Medicare upcoding.

A new study, conducted by Adler-Milstein and colleague Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, found that both EHR adopters and non-EHR adopters increased their billing to Medicare at comparable rates over the 2008-2012, effectively putting a New York Times report claiming rampant upcoding trends to rest.

Find out what Adler-Milstein thinks the future holds for upcoding policy and prevention here.

The congressional key to creating a national patient safety board

Matt Murray, MD, thinks it’s time to stop putting it off.

Murray, an emergency pediatrician and chairman of the Texas Medical Association's health IT committee, said, “The U.S. healthcare system needs a national, independent entity empowered by Congress to oversee health IT patient safety. Now."

Moreover, according to Murray: “A national patient safety entity must have the authority to not only monitor activity and provide learning opportunities for vendors and providers, but also to regulate activities, investigate events, ensure issue resolution and require compliance. I do not see enough "teeth" given to the entity proposed by the FDASIA report.” 

Read Murray's entire commentary here.