Friday, November 2, 2012

The [Near] Future of Healthcare - 2014

It has been a while since we talked about healthcare and I am kind of missing it. So, let’s pull out the crystal ball and look in to the future.

Looks like 2014 is going to be a heck of a year - ICD-10, insurance exchanges, individual coverage mandates, Meaningful Use part II, zombie apocalypse (seeing if your paying attention)… Big year in healthcare.  Ok, I sometimes it seems like we’ll see the zombie apocalypse before we see ICD-10. (Gotta love the CDC for the whole zombie apocalypse thing.)

Anyway, these are some pretty tall orders for healthcare in a single year! As a coder, I have already started my ICD-10 training and working as a product manager for an EHR company I had the added pleasure of working on the 5010 changes. Let me tell you, these are some big changes for healthcare IT. I guess that’s why implementation has been put off so many times. Honestly, I think it will finally happen this time and hopefully everyone will be ready. Coders and physicians have a lot to learn.

Meaningful Use part II doesn't look quite so complicated technically speaking. As I review the changes, it seems that HHS is mainly just strengthening the existing requirements, increasing the compliance percentages, and expanding the core measures while reducing the menu options. Still, these changes will be dramatic for providers. Meaningful use part II aims to increase patient engagement in their healthcare. That can be a challenge as many providers feel that engagement is outside of the provider’s control.

And last but not least, healthcare reform.  This may bring a lot of people in to the healthcare system and will likely have a dramatic effect on provider credentialing because of the insurance exchanges (unfortunately, no one seems to be talking about that yet). I am interested to see how that will pan out. Then, perhaps it won’t. With the election right around the corner and GOP wanting to put a hold on Meaningful Use payments, 2014 might get a little less exciting.  But, I suppose we’ll have to wait until November 6 to find that out.

Over all, 2014 may bring in a lot of changes that will dramatically affect medical providers. I am sure people have heard it million times, but I will say it too... Start preparing now!


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