WEDI Newsletter | November 2017
Executive Corner | WEDI-Con Sneak Peek | Media Spotlight
WEDI On Demand: November’s Featured Video | 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.  
The Value of WEDI Membership:
The View from a Provider 

Whether it be the movement from strictly fee-for-service to value-based care, the shift away from manual to a more automated revenue cycle, or meeting numerous federal requirements, providers face significant obstacles in effectively deploying new EDI standards and health IT. By leveraging WEDI, provider organizations are better able to meet these challenges through education opportunities, networking with fellow providers, colleagues in other healthcare sectors, and government officials, and by directly impacting public policy.

My organization, the Medical Group Management Association, represents more than 40,000 medical practice administrators and executives in practices of all sizes, types, structures and specialties. MGMA has been a member since WEDI was formed in the early 1990s.

With providers having financial pressure on them to maintain access to high quality care in a time of declining reimbursement, they are increasingly looking at Health IT to increase productivity and decrease their operating expenses. The work that WEDI has accomplished in the past several years has been of tremendous benefit to all healthcare organizations. Producing numerous resources, including white papers and webinars, that have allowed providers and others to understand and implement the complex regulations mandated by HIPAA, HITECH, and the Affordable Care Act, WEDI has proven to be very successful in bringing divergent groups together to produce positive impact on the healthcare system and minimize administrative disruption and cost.

We all know the value of discussing critical work issues with colleagues outside your own organization. WEDI offers a wide variety of opportunities to interact directly with both industry experts and those facing similar challenges as you are. Whether it be posing a question on an educational webinar, raising an issue on a workgroup conference call, or engaging in a spirited conversation at one of the face-to-face events, WEDI offers a forum to get your question answered and your issue addressed.

By being named in the HIPAA legislation as an advisor to the federal government, agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, and the Office for Civil Rights all work closely with WEDI during the regulatory development and post-publication implementation phases. Membership in WEDI gives you unparalleled ability to interact with the government officials shaping the policies that impact your organization.

WEDI-led collaborative efforts can also lead directly to changes in public policy. As an example, I had the honor of co-chairing, along with incoming WEDI board chair Jay Eisenstock, a task group charged with developing a set of consensus-based principles for electronic payments. This initiative was prompted by underutilization of the electronic funds transfer transaction by providers and unfair business practices by some payers and vendors. The culmination of this work was the 2016 release of a document that identified electronic payments best practices for providers, payers and vendors. In 2017, CMS released guidance that not only mirrored many of the principles outlined by the task group, but actually cited the WEDI document.

Having been involved with WEDI for more than 15 years, I have witnessed a significant transformation in the organization as it has succeeded in becoming the premier multi-stakeholder EDI organization. Moving forward, WEDI will offer educational programs that are timely and relevant, expand the scope of the organization beyond EDI into other important health IT issues, and produce actionable and practical solutions that directly lead to cost reduction and improved patient care. Over the next few years, as a revitalized WEDI increases its influence and impact, providers will want to be front and center.

Robert M. Tennant, MA
WEDI Board of Directors, Director, HIT Policy,
Medical Group Management Association
WEDI-Con is THE can’t-miss event rounding out an exciting 2017 of WEDI programming. The event will bring together industry thought leaders for insightful discussions focusing on some of the most pressing topics impacting our industry including prior authorization, HITRUST Assessments, Block Chain, the New Medicare Cards, electronic clinical quality (eCQM) and more.

There’s still time to register, so don’t miss your chance to mingle with some of the industry’s most influential names at WEDI-Con. Register today!  
WEDI-Con 2017 Agenda Released

"From ransomware attacks to new regulations to the continued burdens of interoperability, 2017 has been a year full of adversity for our industry. This is why we look forward to bringing some of the biggest industry names together at WEDI-Con to lead discussions covering these pressing issues keeping healthcare leaders awake at night," says Charles W. Stellar, president and CEO of WEDI. "These topics are shaping the future of health IT in the US, which is why this event could not be more timely."

One such topic sure to be on the minds of industry leadership is the New Medicare Card Program (formerly the SSNRI). Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be mailing out the new Medicare cards with the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier to all people with Medicare. In preparation for this major undertaking, Dr. Monica Kay of CMS will present on the initiative, its timeline, and what the HIT industry must be prepared for in the coming months. Following Kay's remarks, attendees will participate in three unique industry panel discussions. The first session, moderated by WEDI Chair Laurie Darst of the Mayo Clinic, will focus on providers, while session number two, moderated by WEDI Chair Elect Jay Eisenstock, will focus on payer organizations and vendors. The final session will be an open forum where attendees can ask general questions of CMS as well as be given the opportunity to offer additional insight on the program's effect on the industry.

To read the full article published in For the Record, click here.
This month's highlighted Vimeo channel video features Jim Daley who describes how WEDI members excel at collaboration in the pursuit of a more secure and efficient healthcare system in Finding your Voice through WEDI .
Visit the new WEDI Vimeo Channel to view our entire video library!
All of our workgroups have special projects and activities underway, here’s just a brief highlight of a few:

The Innovative Encounters Workgroup is in the process of finalizing their latest issue brief on telehealth modalities and hopes to have the paper approved by the end of the year. The workgroup is currently soliciting input from members and exploring ideas for the next work product. Currently, considerations include a telehealth study resource guide, the recent expansion of telehealth codes by CMS, and taking a closer look at telehealth in the Veteran’s Administration.

The Acknowledgements Subworkgroup is planning to create a survey for the membership on how acknowledgements are created and used by the industry. The survey will help prioritize the subworkgroup’s agenda going forward.

The Remittance Advice and Payment Subworkgroup held a very successful webinar on 10/30 on Claim Adjustment Reason Code Mapping. They continue work on the Issue Brief on EFT Enrollment Security Best Practices. The subworkgroup will be meeting in person at WEDI-Con on Monday, 12/4. Consideration, discussion and approval of information involving the CAQH Enrollment survey and upcoming webinars are occurring, and they will keep members engaged and updated on their iMeet space.
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HR Announcements
 
 
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.
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