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Korean Researchers Literally Put a Doctor in Your Pocket

Posted on November 5, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

When I hear people saying that a smart phone is like having a doctor in your pocket…I assume they are talking about apps like WebMD that help diagnose illness and disease by listing symptoms. However, researchers in Korea are developing something that will literally be like a doctor. Check out this video:

I think it’s crazy that cancer, diabetes, and other diseases may be diagnosed through a smart phone. A hypochondriac’s dream, right? As I watched this video, I thought about various positives and negatives. Perhaps someone that doesn’t have access to health care for whatever reason, and can’t afford diagnostic tests, can try and see if they need to visit the doctor and pay those fees. Or if someone believes their doctor didn’t listen to their concerns, yet their inner conscience indicates otherwise, maybe this can help convince their doctor to look into further testing.

However, I could also see some potential issues. First off — how accurate is it? I would absolutely hate for someone to believe they were free of any disease just because of this smart phone “doctor.” How horrible would it be if someone got a false negative, but indeed did have cancer? Next, is a smart phone really a place where a blood sample should be taken? The video kind of addresses this, and mentions that some people might not like the idea of this for their smart phone, and I think that is a legitimate concern. I mean, a smart phone can do a lot, but should it really do everything? Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed. It’s one thing to have an app that lets you know what your symptoms may be for, but it’s another to try and literally become a handheld doctor.

Regardless, it’s a pretty awesome creation, and I’ll be interested to see how it all pans out.

New Opportunities to Avoid ePrescribing Penalty for 2013 – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on I Written By

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

According to the 2013 Medicare Final Rule released last week, there are new ways to avoid future payment adjustments under the MIPPA ePrescribing rule for those who have not already taken the necessary steps to avoid them: 1) The exemption request period has been reopened and 2) meaningful use will satisfy the ePrescribing requirements according to specific timetables.

1) CMS is offering a second chance to physicians who missed the June 30 deadline for requesting an exemption to the 2013 ePrescribing penalty (1.5%) under the original 4 categories. Between November 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013, physicians can go to the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page and request an exemption based on one of the following justifications:

  • Inability to electronically prescribe due to local, State, or Federal law or regulation (i.e., prescribe predominantly controlled substances)
  • Prescribed fewer than 100 prescriptions between January 1 and June 30, 2012
  • Insufficient high speed internet access (i.e., rural area)
  • Insufficient available pharmacies that accept electronic prescribing.

2) In the interest of harmonizing the various government programs that contain ePrescribing components, CMS now will provide two additional ways to avoid the 2013 MIPPA penalties:

  • Achieve meaningful use during 2013
  • Demonstrate intent to participate in the EHR Incentive Program and adopt Certified EHR Technology by January 31, 2013

This information will be retrieved by CMS from the information in its EHR Incentive Program’s Registration and Attestation System, rather than by having providers request an exemption as in #1 above.