CDC / AMA Webinar -- Preparing for Zika Transmission in the U.S.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) invite you to join an important webinar focused on Zika virus. To register for this webinar, visit this website. CDC Medical Epidemiologist Susan Hills, MBBS, MTH, will present an update on the epidemiological and clinical aspects of the current outbreak. CDC Medical Officer Kiran Perkins, MD, MPH, will present on the implications for pregnant women, including CDC's updated interim clinical guidance, before fielding questions from webinar participants. For more information on Zika, visit  

RVU Calculator


Need a way to calculate your RVUs? The Harris County Medical Society has developed a Work RVU Calculator to help physicians determine their total work RVUs. The calculator includes 40 different specialties based upon the top 50 codes for their particular specialty. Plus, if a particular code is not listed within the top 50 codes additional codes can be added to help determine work productivity based upon the work RVU. Click here to access the calculator!

Panel looks at effect of cuts on Oklahoma mental health agency


Thousands of Oklahoma children and adults with mental illness and substance use disorders will continue not getting the care they need, as state money for that care continues to shrink, an agency leader said Wednesday. 

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, like many other agencies, will likely see a budget cut in the coming fiscal year. Read more...

Learn about New Requirements for Participation in EHR Incentive Programs


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently announced the release of final rules for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs and the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria. The rules will be published on October 16, 2015, and are currently on display in the Federal Register. 

The EHR Incentive Programs final rule provides new criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to successfully participate in the EHR Incentive Programs. The final rule outlines program requirements in 2015 through 2017 (Modified Stage 2) and Stage 3 in 2018 and beyond, and includes a comment period for Stage 3. 

The 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria final rule builds on past editions of adopted health IT certification criteria, and includes new and updated IT functionality and provisions that support the EHR Incentive Programs' care improvement, cost reduction, and patient safety across the health system.

EHR Incentive Programs Final Rule Provisions
Through the new requirements of the EHR Incentive Programs, CMS will expand meaningful use of certified EHR technology to promote health information exchange and improved outcomes. The rule also includes changes to the structure of the EHR Incentive Programs to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and flexibility.

Major policy provisions include:

  • Program modifications to reduce reporting burden, eliminate redundant and duplicative reporting, and to better align the objectives and measures of meaningful use with the Stage 3 requirements.
  • A revised single set of objectives and measures, including a reduction of the overall number of objectives to which a provider must attest.
  • Changes in EHR reporting periods, including a shift to calendar year for all providers and 90-day reporting for 2015.
  • Revisions to attestation and payment adjustment deadlines.
  • Optional Stage 3 reporting in 2017.

For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs final rule, view the Final Rule Fact Sheet that highlights key changes to the EHR Incentive Programs.

To learn more about the ONC 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria final rule, visit:

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Make sure to visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.

Physicians Still Watching and Waiting for 2015 Meaningful Use Program Requirements


Physicians Still Watching and Waiting for 2015 Meaningful Use Program Requirements

For immediate release:
Oct. 1, 2015

CHICAGO —Because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has yet to issue the so-called “modification rule” for the electronic health record (EHR) Meaningful Use program for 2015, the AMA is calling on the agency to create an automatic hardship exemption for physicians who did not have the opportunity to report successfully this year.

In April, CMS proposed modifications to stages 1 & 2 of the program that reduced the reporting period from a full calendar year to 90 days. Stakeholders believed this was necessary since many physicians could not update systems, change products, or accommodate Internet outages or other disruptions under a 365-day reporting program. 

“The AMA welcomed and supported the proposed changes, but it’s now Oct. 1 and CMS has left physicians without any guidance or assurances that they will be capable of meeting program requirements before the end of the year,” said AMA President Steven J. Stack, M.D. “The AMA has regularly stressed that CMS must finalize Meaningful Use modifications well ahead of Oct. 1 to provide the time that physicians need to plan for and accommodate these changes, yet CMS has continued to delay finalizing this rule. As a result, many physicians who were counting on this flexibility will be subject to financial penalties under the rules currently in place. The AMA is asking CMS to create an automatic hardship exemption as soon as possible so that physicians are not penalized for regulatory delays that are outside their control.”

Previous AMA efforts to shape the Meaningful Use program can be found at AMA Wire. For additional information, or join the discussion on Twitter using #FixEHR.