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WEDI Newsletter | January 2018
Executive Corner | Get Involved: Join a Workgroup or Subworkgroup
Industry Impact: Azar to Lead HHS | WEDI On Demand: January’s Featured Video Help Us Help You: 2018 WEDI Survey
New Medicare Card Project Readiness Survey
National Conference Registration Now Open | Workgroup Roundup
Latest Member News
Each month, the Executive Corner provides prominent WEDI leaders an opportunity to share their perspectives on a variety of topics impacting healthcare – from legislative matters and industry events to the headline-grabbing issues of the day.  
Dear WEDI Members,

With 2018 just underway, I am excited to share a glimpse of what WEDI has in store during a year full of educational programming, networking and thought leadership.

Part of what makes WEDI so invaluable to our members and the industry we serve are the national conferences we hold each year where attendees gain exclusive access to extensive educational and networking opportunities, while experiencing today’s best practices in Health IT firsthand. These in-person gatherings also provide an important opportunity for those newly arriving in our industry to have the opportunity to connect with mentors and other industry leaders. That trend will continue this May in Scottsdale, AZ as we kick things off on the event front with the WEDI National Conference – the first of our three signature conferences. As always, our objective during these events is to offer session topics that are paramount on everyone's mind. But it’s not just the new faces who benefit from our programming. Those of us who have been part of WEDI for years will gather to discuss not only important issues but the potential solutions while keeping our workgroups and committees fully engaged. The spring conference is just the tip of our event and networking iceberg with both the Summer Forum and Fall Conference to follow in July and October respectively.

From the Claims Subworkgroup wrapping up its review of the proposed changes in the X12 Version 7030 claims transactions to the Privacy and Security workgroup who is working to develop an outline for a white paper on the use of Blockchain in healthcare, WEDI’s Workgroups and Subworkgroups are gearing up for a year of helping drive policy that will shape our industry. There’s no better time than now to join a WEDI workgroup where as WEDI members you can add your voice to the conversations that will have a lasting impact on the exchange of clinical and administrative healthcare information. In fact, I encourage members to connect with workgroup chairs who can answer any questions you might have about their respective groups and the projects they are currently engaged in or will embark on over the year ahead.

But it’s not just the events, workgroups and resources that will shape the year ahead for WEDI and our members. You’ve heard me say it before. Our healthcare ecosystem has and will continue to experience great change. That theme continues to be echoed in 2018 which began with the Senate confirmation of Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical industry executive, who is set to become the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As industry convener and advisor to HHS, we look forward to working closely with Secretary Azar as he works to advance the efficient and effective use of health IT to improve the nation’s healthcare delivery system.

There’s no doubt about it, 2018 is gearing up to be another impactful year as our dedicated board, workgroups, loyal sponsors and diverse membership base continues to make incredible impacts on the important issues shaping our industry.

See you in Scottsdale! 

Charles W. Stellar,
WEDI president and CEO
Every day, WEDI members commit their time and talent to WEDI Workgroups and Subworkgroups to provide thoughtful leadership and common-sense approaches that enhance the exchange of clinical and administrative healthcare information. Our workgroups provide white papers, webinars, surveys and issue briefs to help member organizations readily adapt to rapidly evolving business environments and regulatory requirements. 

Joining a workgroup is easy – In My Profile, simply subscribe to the listserv that corresponds with each workgroup that you’d like to join or contact Sam Holvey
at 202-618-8803 or sholvey@wedi.org.
On January 24th, industry headlines broke news that the Senate had approved Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive, to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As reported in Modern Healthcare, Azar is “expected to reshape the ACA exchanges, which face uncertain futures after executive and legislative efforts to dismantle them.”

Read Modern Healthcare’s coverage of Azar’s confirmation here.
Fresh from last month’s WEDI-Con, this month's highlighted Vimeo channel video features Rob Tennant, a WEDI Board Member and the Director, Health Information Technology Policy for MGMA. In this video, Tennant describes how WEDI Conferences provide both education and networking opportunities for healthcare's leading stakeholders in Today’s Best Practices in Health IT.
Visit the new WEDI Vimeo Channel to view our entire video library!
WEDI is conducting a survey to gather information from industry stakeholders that will assist us in prioritizing and providing focus for our workgroups and subworkgroups. Your input is invaluable in directing the efforts of our organization to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our members and all who are able to benefit from the services we provide. We encourage you and other members of your organization to complete this survey by February 16th.
By April 2019, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove Social Security Numbers from all Medicare cards. A new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status. CMS plans to have a transition period where patients can use either the HICN or the MBI to exchange data with CMS. The transition period will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018 and run through December 31, 2019.

WEDI, in conjunction with CMS, has developed a brief survey to gauge industry awareness and readiness for the changes related to the New Medicare Card Project implementation that will start on April 1. WEDI seeks to get insight on industry preparation, best practices or challenges experienced and pass that information to CMS. WEDI is asking recipients to work with their New Medicare/ MBI project team to ensure that the survey accurately represents their organization’s status.
The 2018 National Conference is coming to Scottsdale, AZ from May 21-23, 2018 for what is shaping up to be yet another WEDI Conference full of engaging programming and thought-provoking conversations.

Open to all interested healthcare stakeholders across provider, payer, vendor and government entities, both WEDI members and non-members can visit the WEDI 2018 National Conference page to register. 
All of our workgroups have special projects and activities underway, here’s just a brief highlight of a few:

The Acknowledgements Subworkgroup has identified several pain points associated with the 277CA and the 999. The workgroup is addressing detail context around these pain points and will soon begin to create survey questions to help prioritize the pain points to address in future white papers. They are looking for feedback from all participants within the industry. If anyone would like to help provide clarity to the 999 and 277CA transactions please join their workgroup on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 2:00 – 3:00 EST.  

Join the NEW Claim Status Subworkgroup. The Claim Status SWG is focused on the exchange of claim status request/response (276/277), the business issues that prevent its adoption and potential ROI savings for both providers and health plans. Payers bring the top 10 claim issues that require rejections and why providers still call on these claim issues. Providers bring the top 10 claim issues you need to still call on rejected claims. Sign up for the WEDI-ClaimStatus@lists.wedi.org and plan to participate in the active discussion on Friday, February 2 at Noon ET

The Remittance Advice & Payment SWG had a great face to face meeting at WEDI-CON, and focused on identifying and prioritizing items for focus in the upcoming year. They are also continuing work on their EFT Enrollment Security Issue Brief.

The Claims Subworkgroup is starting a project reviewing “encounters.” The group will begin by discussing the definition and the various uses of encounters. An environmental scan will capture the who, what, where, why, and how of the encounters processes. The second phase of the work will be to assess any barriers or needs to improve the business flow of encounters. Join the Claims Subworkgroup on the second and fourth Thursdays at 11:00 am ET.

The Innovative Encounters Workgroup will kick off their January 31, 2018 workgroup meeting with a discussion on planning the next work product. Topics for consideration include billing and reimbursement of telehealth encounters, the role of patient generated monitoring data in telehealth, and privacy and legal, regulatory, and privacy considerations surrounding telehealth. The workgroup recently completed an issue brief on Telehealth Modalities. The issue brief will be available upon final approval of the WEDI Board.

The Genomics Workgroup is completing a whitepaper covering the business issues an organization must address when building out an enterprise-wide clinical genomics program. The plan is to follow up with a white paper on the technical requirements to build a clinical genomics data infrastructure. Other issues for discussion are the gaps in payer coverage for genetic/genomic testing, and how to move the industry to viewing clinical genomics as a preventive health strategy, rather than an additional cost. They hold their calls monthly on the 4th Tuesday at 1pm Eastern.
Health Plans/Systems

Technology Solutions/Vendors

If you are a WEDI Corporate Member organization and would like to have your press releases included in a future edition of the WEDI Monthly Newsletter, please email with a link to your press release to tom@andersoni.com
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency and to reduce costs of the American healthcare system. Formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), WEDI was named in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS and continues to fulfill that role today.
WEDI | (202) 618-8788 | wedi@wedi.org | wedi.org