Keep up to date with Massachusetts eHealth related news, opportunities and program updates.

News for October 2016
MeHI, the Massachusetts eHealth Institute  at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, is the designated state agency for promoting  Health IT  innovation, technology and competitiveness to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of health care across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Final Rule on MACRA Announced

On October 14, 2016, HHS finalized the streamlined Medicare payment system, known as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Quality Payment Program, which rewards clinicians for quality patient care.

With clinicians working as partners, the Administration is building a system that delivers better care. The system is designed to incentivize clinicians to work together to have a full understanding of patients' needs. In this manner, Medicare will pay for care that works, switching from fee-for-service payments to a system that rewards providers for quality care delivery. This change will help spend federal dollars more wisely. In this program, patients will be at the center of their care, which should result in a healthier country as well as reduce costs.
The final ruling comes after a long public comment period. Some common themes emerged from the feedback, including the need for flexibility, simplicity, and support for small practices. Additional comments can be submitted here until December 18th.
Read the entire press release  published Friday, October 14, 2016.
Review the Final Rule & Executive Summary on the CMS Education & Tools page.
Read Letter from Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt on the CMS Blog page.
Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Updates
Eligible PCNS Must Register for Incentive Program by Dec. 5 
Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialists (PCNS) can now attest for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Program Year 2016 is the last year a new Eligible Professional (EP) can initiate participation in the program to earn incentives.

Register NOW! The first step to begin participation is to register at the CMS Registration & Attestation website.

Most PCNS require a Special Enrollment to become a recognized Mass Health payee. You must submit your special enrollment documents by December 5, 2016. Completion of enrollment is not guaranteed if received after December 5th. Don't miss the opportunity to attest and receive your incentive as a PCNS.

We are here to help. Contact us for support if you have any difficulty in the registration process. Call 1-855-MassEHR or email at

Check out the registration details in MeHI's MU Toolkit for Eligible Professionals ( Click Button).

Last Chance to Participate in the Medicaid Incentive Program
If you are a Physician (MD), Pediatrician, Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, or Dentist whose practice serves at least 30% Medicaid patients and have acquired a 2014 Certified EHR, consider participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT! Program Year 2016 is the last year an Eligible Professional can initiate participation. Please register by December 5, 2016 to ensure timely access to the attestation system. The deadline to attest is March 31, 2017.

To register, follow these step-by-step instructions within our MU Toolkit for EPs.

Questions? Call 1-855-MassEHR or email at
Eligible Hospitals Deadline Extended to November 22nd
The deadline for Eligible Hospitals (EH) to attest in MAPIR for Program Year 2016 has been extended to November 22, 2016.

All EHs can attest for Adopt, Implement, and Upgrade (AIU) now.

Dually Eligible Hospitals can attest for Meaningful Use (MU) now.

Medicaid-only and Children's Hospitals can attest for MU starting on November 1st.

The following is a link to CMS tools and resources: CMS 2015 Program Requirements.

Check out the new resources in MeHI's MU Toolkit for Eligible Hospitals ( Click Button).

Program Year 2015 Deadlines

Program Year 2016 Deadlines

Free ONC Health IT Tools & Resources
ONC Publishes Health IT Playbook and EHR Contract Guide 

Last month, ONC unveiled a newly expanded Health IT Playbook and EHR Contract Guide (PDF) now available on their website. These new tools serve as practical, easy-to-understand resources to help healthcare providers get the most out of their health information technology.

The EHR Contract Guide explains important concepts in EHR contracts and includes example contract language to help providers and health administrators in planning to acquire an EHR system and negotiating contract terms with vendors.

The Health IT Playbook is a dynamic web-based tool intended to make it easy for providers and their practices to find practical information and guidance on specific topics as they research, buy, use, or switch EHRs.

Read the announcement  press release here.
ONC Security Risk Assessment Tool - No Cost Resource

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has published a free, downloadable Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool on their  website. The SRA Tool takes you through each HIPAA requirement by presenting a question about your organization's activities. The "yes/no" responses show whether you need to take corrective action for that particular item. There are a total of 156 questions.

Resources are included with each question to help you:
  • Understand the context of the question;
  • Consider the potential impact to your PHI if the requirement is not met; and
  • See the actual safeguard language of the HIPAA Security Rule.
Document your answers, comments, and risk remediation plans directly into the SRA Tool. The tool serves as a local repository for the information and does not send your data anywhere else.

View the SRA Tutorial Video

Read the SRA Tool User Guide
Industry Publications
 Research Publications
Exploring Health Information Exchange Implementation Using Qualitative Assessments of Nursing Home Leaders
AHIMA Foundation - Perspectives in Health Information Management | Fall 2016

Implementation and Impact of Psychiatric Electronic Medical Records in a Public Medical Center
AHIMA Foundation - Perspectives in Health Information Management | Fall 2016
eQuality Incentive Program (eQIP) and Connected Communities Grant Programs
Grantee Forum: Next Week
This year's MeHI Grantee Forum aims to serve the organizations participating in MeHI's  eQuality Incentive Program (eQIP) and  Connected Communities Program.

At this in-person event we will present information on Health IT and policy topics that will benefit the grantee organizations and their collaborators as they progress through grant milestones.

The Forum will include educational presentations, opportunities for questions, and networking with other grantee organizations and their collaborators.

If you are a grantee or collaborator and have not yet registered, please do so now here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center
14 Mechanic Street
Southbridge, MA 01550

View the event webpage for more details. Presentations are available to print here.
Mass Digital Health News & Updates 
Connect with the Mass Digital Health Cluster
Since the launch of the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative in January, MeHI has developed online resources that can help you connect with the digital health cluster across the Commonwealth. 

You can subscribe to receive notifications, event information, and other communications about Mass Digital Health. Stay connected by following  @MassEHealth or the hashtag #MassDigitalHealth on Twitter. Also, we invite you to join the Mass Digital Health LinkedIn Group to participate in digital health discussions.

Check out the digital health event listings for upcoming innovation conferences, educational seminars, webinars, forums, pitching contests, networking opportunities, hackathons, and more!
Pulse@MassChallenge Innovation Lab Highlights
Application Deadline!
Pulse@MassChallenge is a digital health lab that connects entrepreneurs to experts, institutions, and resources.They are accepting applications now through  Nov. 16thApply here.

Monthly Pulse Check Event
Each month, Pulse@MassChallenge hosts a meetup called Pulse Check. This month's event had an outstanding turnout, with over 350 tech innovators and healthcare leaders in attendance. The event was hosted in partnership with Boston Children's Hospital and Cerner. It featured a lively debate on healthcare partnerships as well as demos from 30+ startups. Not only was the energy in the room great, but the digital health community made Pulse Check the number one trending hashtag on Twitter in the Boston region. Make sure to register for the next Pulse Check event on Nov. 16th! Register here.
Upcoming Industry Events 
The Annual Thought Leadership on Access Symposium
Reinventing the Patient Experience Through Better Access
Join executives and thought leaders from top hospitals and health systems across the country and discover why patient access has become critical to the success of provider organizations. ATLAS brings together professionals that span access, network alignment, care coordination, population health, and digital engagement to drive a meaningful and actionable conversation around providing patients the right care, with the right provider, at the right time.  

Who attends ATLAS
Hospital and health system leaders spanning a variety of executive, clinical, strategic, and operational areas will benefit from the robust ATLAS agenda. 

Topics Discussed
  • Centralizing access operations 
  • Clinical imperatives behind better patient-provider matching
  • Creating standards for access across ACOs / CINs
  • Aligning provider data during mergers & acquisitions
  • Eliminating referral leakage across employed / affiliate networks
  • Building seamless care coordination operations
  • Creating consistency in the patient journey
  • Attracting and converting more patients through digital channels
  • Improving patient experience through coordinated access
November 14-15, 2016

The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common
10 Avery Street
Boston, MA 02111
Videos _ Interviews

Educational Events

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