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This week, Apple announced its long-rumored entry into the wearable device market with the launch of Apple Watch. And while the device wasn’t created specifically for healthcare use, it could have serious application in the home care space.

The market for healthcare technology is rife with devices that record and monitor physical activity, vital signs, among other health-related metrics. And now it appears that Apple is joining the club, albeit on the outskirts, with the creation of Watch.

The device incorporates several technologies and functions that play into the healthcare arena.

For one, Watch has a digital touch feature that provides a new way to connect intimately with others, whether it’s getting another watch-user’s attention with a simple tap on the device or even sharing something as personal as a heartbeat, said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of design.

“These are subtle ways to communicate that technology often inhibits rather than enables,” he said during a video detailing the Watch’s complete features.

At the heart of the watch is a chip that integrates many subsystems the technology encompasses into one compact module, which essentially minimizes an entire computer system onto a single chip, Ive added.

Adding to this technology, the Watch’s zirconia back contains four lenses crafted from crytsal sapphire that, along with infrared invisible light LEDs and photo sensors, are able to detect the wearer’s pulse rate.

Designed particularly with fitness and exercise in mind, these components work in tandem with a built-in gyroscope and accelerometer that help provide a comprehensive picture of an individual’s phsycial activity using GPS location services and Wi-Fi from an iPhone.

The device also makes calling family and friends easy. Watch senses when its wearer is raising his or her wrist, upon which it activates the display screen. Users can then push a button located on the side of the device that instantly brings up the individual’s contacts, enabling them to connect with them, either via text or standard call, in seconds, Ive said.

Though the device has yet to be put into the circumstantial application, for example, in the event of an emergency such as a fall, contacting help in a matter of seconds, in theory, is the premise of all personal emergency response systems out there today.

Another aspect where Apple taps into the essence of senior care lies in the Watch’s robust customization.

The company has designed a variety of watch “faces,” or displays, and bands to choose from that are easily interchangeable. Users can choose from a range of styles, including a classic leather buckle design, a stainless steel link bracelet, a loop that comes in a soft, quilted leather, or for the sporty types, a chemical- and sweat-resistant sport band made from a durable high-performance elsatic material.

“We know that wearing something all day and everyday becomes as much about personal preference and self-expression as functionality,” Ive said.

Though it isn’t targeting seniors specifically, the need to personalize and self-express is an inherent human desire, and one that Apple plans to capitalize upon.

“Creating beautiful objects that are as simple and pure as they are functional, well that’s always been our goal at Apple,” said Ive. “I think we’re now at a compelling beginning of actually designing technology to be worn, to be truly personal.”


HomeCare Blog for Private Duty


It’s another Fun Fact Friday! Did you know that on this very day in 490 BC, the Battle of Marathon took place? This 26 mile and 385 yard race actually gets its name from a battle that occurred long ago between the Athenians and the Persians, which was a great turning point in the Greco-Persian wars. One myth states that Pheidippides, a soldier in the war, ran from Marathon to Athens to announce the victory over the Persians. He covered the distance of what we now call a marathon, and died of exhaustion shortly after sharing the good news. 

Despite Pheidippides’ fateful end, Amy McCall, wife to Kinnser ADL Product Owner Steve McCall, survived the Big Cotton Wood Marathon in September, 2012. She won the entire race for women with a time of 3:08—no doubt faster than the time it took Pheidippides to make his victorious journey.

At Kinnser ADL we believe in the importance of staying active and healthy and know that it starts with us. We hope to motivate you to promote a healthy lifestyle as well and encourage our seniors to do the same!

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The transitions coach ducks into your mother’s hospital room for a brief introduction before she’s discharged. The coach explains that her job is to help keep patients safe at home and asks if she can call to set up a home visit.

Health researchers know that transitions — the hand-offs from one setting to another, as in hospital to home — often go awry.

“It’s so abrupt,” said Dr. Eric Coleman, a geriatrician at the University of Colorado, Denver (and a certified McArthur Foundation genius). “For three days people do everything for you, and then, 11 minutes before you leave, they turn the tables. ‘Nowyou take over.’ ”

Your parent is often sleep deprived and medicated at the time; little wonder that nationally, about one Medicare patient in five returns to the hospital within a month. (Judith Graham wrote about re-hospitalizations last year.)

To lower that figure, Dr. Coleman began developing the Care Transitions Intervention Program 15 years ago. If patients agree, a coach comes to their homes two to four days after discharge. She’s not there to change dressings or help them bathe; home health nurses or aides do that. Instead, over 45 minutes to an hour, the coach — generally a nurse, sometimes a social worker or other health care professional — asks about patients’ goals as they recover.

She will discuss the medications your mother takes and symptoms that might indicate a problem requiring medical attention. She’ll help your father strategize about whom to call if he needs help and rehearses what he’ll say. She phones twice over the next few weeks to see if your parent has gotten his questions answered and needs met.

Dr. Coleman’s brainchild has spread to over 900 hospitals, care organizations, Medicare Advantage plans and area agencies on aging around the country. The pace of adoption has picked up sharply since Medicare started imposing financial penalties on hospitals with high readmission rates in 2012.

The Care Transitions Intervention sounds so simple and commonsensical that it’s hard to believe it has major impact. But the evidence, starting with Dr. Coleman’s own pilot program and then a larger randomized trial in Colorado, shows that this coaching approach has reduced readmissions by 20 percent to 40 percent, depending on hospital location. Its costs are modest — $300 to $450 per patient to train and pay coaches — but the cost savings can be substantial and long lasting.

In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2011, researchers at Brown University and Healthcentric Advisors of Rhode Island demonstrated that the Care Transitions program reduced 30-day admissions to less than 13 percent from 20 percent among Medicare beneficiaries.

In the latest study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, these researchers looked not only at readmissions to six hospitals, but at all health care costs except drugs among Medicare patients hospitalized between 2009 and 2011 who were discharged home (not to a nursing facility).

The researchers compared 321 patients who received coaching with two control groups: 919 who were eligible to participate but declined or didn’t cooperate in arranging a home visit, and an external group of more than 11,000 patients in the same hospitals who weren’t approached for coaching. In all three groups, the patients’ average age was in the mid-70s, and the researchers matched them by health status, sex, race and poverty indicators.

Over six months, the coached patients had fewer emergency room visits, observation stays, doctors’ visits and nursing home stays — but those differences weren’t statistically significant. What drove cost savings, said Stefan Gravenstein, senior author of the study, was significantly reduced hospital readmissions.

Coached patients had a 30 percent lower readmission rate. “We believe that when something came up, they got help before they got so sick they needed to be hospitalized,” said Dr. Gravenstein, a geriatrician now at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Ohio.

After allowing for the costs of coaching, Medicare spent an average of $3,752 over six months for coached patients, compared with the internal control group, and $6,221 less compared with the external control group (which may have included more dementia patients, among other factors).

“Patients are often passive recipients of health care, especially in a hospital,” Dr. Gravenstein said. Transitions coaches work to give them more confidence about navigating an often bewildering system.

“When they discover that the things that worry them also have an urgency, it removes the hurdle,” he added. “It gives them permission to ‘bother the doctor.’ ” And that apparently pays off in more ways than one.

Let’s not forget the other kinds of costs, after all. Hospitals, their starched white reputations notwithstanding, aren’t safe or friendly places for vulnerable older people. You don’t want to be there, or bounce back there, if you can avoid it. It looks as if transitions coaches can help you stay away.

Kinnser ADL can help you make sure that your clients are receiving the attention they need by keeping track of hospitalization dates and notes.


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Steve Jobs, the brilliant co-founder of Apple Inc. once said, “Everything is important. Success is in the details.” He was talking about the computer business, but he might as well have been talking about home health and home care agencies. 

Think about it… Are your back office processes optimized so that patients, families, and referral sources will have a smooth admission experience? Have you maximized every opportunity for efficiency to ensure that clinical and office staff can complete their roles in a timely, competent matter? It's complex... and every detail matters.

Kinnser-ADL is offering a free lunchtime CEU seminar with home healthcare executive and consultant Jill Dyer, BSN, RN, HCS-D, HCS-O will reveal how to organize an efficient and compliant back office so your agency can work smarter.

In the seminar, you will learn:

  • Processes that will support patients, families, and referral sources during admission and referral
  • Key management areas and their role in success
  • Strategies to assess, plan, and implement a successful back office

Approved for 3 Nursing Continuing Education Units by the Texas Nurse Association, an ANCC accredited approver.

Seats fill quickly, so register now by clicking here.

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Today, I thought I would spice things up a bit and list a few quotes that celebrities and other famous people said about their grandparents. You can find these quotes and others at

“I phoned my grandparents and my grandfather said 'We saw your movie.' 'Which one?' I said. He shouted 'Betty, what was the name of that movie I didn't like?” –Brad Pitt

“I'm very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch.” –Woody Allen

“When people say 'Charlie Chaplin' I still think now of the guy in the moustache and bowler hat and funny walk - I don't think of an old man who was my grandfather.” - Oona Chaplin

“I've been called a moron since I was about four. My father called me a moron. My grandfather said I was a moron. And a lot of times when I'm driving, I hear I'm a moron. I like being a moron.” – Adam Sandler

“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” - Abraham Lincoln


 Can you imagine a life without our grandparents? I know the people that said the quotes above would not be able to imagine life without their grandparents. Grandparents can have such a deep impact on our lives and teach us amazing things. It is important for us to look after and take care of our grandparents as they age.

Home care agencies provide the necessary tools to look after your grandparents in times when it is impossible for you to do the care yourself. Kinnser ADL has developed and been providing home care agencies with the best home care management software in order to ensure that families are getting the best and most professional care around.

Contact Kinnser ADL today to see how Kinnser Software can provide the best home care software for any home care agency in the US, Canada and Australia!

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1. Be clear and concise.
Overwriting and using technical jargon will lead to confusion and misunderstanding.

2. Set the tone at the top.
CEOs and senior leaders need to set the tone. They need to be visible and accessible, and they need to understand that there's a correlation between strategic employee communication and the achievement of organizational goals.

3. Understand your employees.
You may need to communicate differently with different audiences. For custodians who don't use computers at work, email is ineffective. To determine your employees' needs and perceptions, consider surveying them regularly: Are they getting the information they need?

4. Use many channels.
Most people need to hear or see a message multiple times, in multiple ways, to understand it completely. Distribute your messages electronically, in writing, face to face, and at forums and meetings. Your message should be consistent across all these channels.

5. Provide context.
Employees need to hear information at multiple levels. Provide context (what external factors are at play?); explain strategy (why did we decide to respond this way?); and make it personal (how will this affect me?).

6. Be timely: Notify employees first!
When you prioritize your communications, always think of your internal people first. Your employees should hear it from you before they hear it from anyone else; they shouldn't be surprised by a media report.

7. Be forthcoming, and be continuous.
Always communicate, and communicate both good and bad news. If you are honest and candid in sharing bad news, your good news is more credible.

8. Match actions with words.
If you say you will address a situation in a certain way, do it. If you don't, you're undermining your credibility.

9. Emphasize face-to-face communications.
Although today's employees may be more tech-savvy than ever, nothing beats human interaction. Most employees want to hear news and information from their supervisors. Managers need to be trained in how to communicate, and they need to have the right tools at hand. If you are expecting your managers to help explain a complicated change to the organization's pension plan, you'd better provide them with talking points and handouts.

10. Create an organizational habit for communications.
You know you need to communicate about policies; health and safety; benefits; and how a job should be carried out. But remember that you also need to share information about your organization—what our your objectives? How are you performing? What are your plans and prospects? How can employees help?

11. Plan.
Be systematic and strategic. Have an editorial calendar that spells out what you'll say, and when, where, and how you'll say it. Develop a checklist of what needs to be communicated.

12. Measure effectiveness.
Set objectives, and be prepared to assess whether you have met them, as well as whether they are employee engagement goals or perception goals. You might want to regularly assess engagement levels and ask employees whether the organization has communicated its strategy well. Do they understand how their daily work helps the organization meet its goals?

13. Facilitate conversation.
One-way communication is a thing of the past. Individuals are empowered to talk back, and feeling "listened to" enhances feelings of trust. There are many ways to facilitate two-way communication, including face-to-face meetings; "town hall" meetings; interactive video interviews; Twitter questions; employee surveys; Q&A features on the employee intranet; and anonymous suggestions via email or suggestion boxes.

14. Be objective.
Don't "spin," or try to dictate or assume how people should feel about the news you're sharing.

15. Say "thank you" as much as possible.
If an employee feels appreciated, she's more likely to feel engaged.

Don't take shortcuts, or make a half-hearted effort. If you do, you're likely to fall short of your goals or be met with a crisis down the road. As George Bernard Shaw said, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

HomeCare Blog for Private Duty


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated its Medicare hospice manual, which includes instructions for diagnosis reporting, filling hospice notice of election (NOE) and termination or revocation of election.

The updates go into effect Oct. 1.

The new editing instructions for hospice primary diagnoses and newly required timeframes for submitting information to Home Health & Hospice Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs)  might impact providers’ reimbursement, a Medicare Learning Network (MLN) memo states.

“The principal diagnosis reported on the claim should be the diagnosis most contributory to the terminal prognosis,” the MLN says. “The coding guidelines state that when the provider has established, or confirmed, a related definitive diagnosis, codes listed under the classification of Symptoms, Signs, and Ill-defined Conditions are not to be used as principal diagnoses.”

Additionally, there are several dementia diagnosis codes that cannot be used as the principal diagnosis.

Hospice NOEs must be filed within five calendar days after the effective date of hospice election, otherwise Medicare will not cover and pay for the days of hospice care from the effective date of election to the date of NOE filing. However, the update does provide for exceptions to this rule, including natural disasters.

The updated manual also provides a clarification of the differences between Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) site of service codes Q5003 and Q5004.

Official instructions:

Original memo:


HomeCare Blog for Private Duty


Kinnser ADL cares about the quality of work our seniors receive. We partner with a great background checks company that takes potential caregivers through an initial screening process by the click of a button. We also partner with ICareSafely, an online training program developed by agency owners. It is designed to meet state standards and, more importantly, to benefit students with relevant and helpful content delivered via a user-friendly presentation.

Course 1 consists of ALL of the initial state requirements and results in 16 hours of training. Additional courses satisfy the annual training requirement of 12 hours. ICareSafely “exceed[s] the states’ training standards” in those states where the hourly training requirement is less than what this program provides. 

Below are some of the benefits of this program:
* Cost effective
* The certificate is generated upon completion
* The agency can easily view the student’s progress and their test scores
* Quizzes after each module are designed to measure competence and can be taken until passed at 100%
* Hands-on skills test allows the supervisor to ensure competency
* If a student does not finish the course, the agency can reuse the certificate number.
* ICareSafely will customize the program to meet individual state standards.  

Kinnser ADL is committed to everyone’s success and happiness, which is why we partner with great companies that help attract quality caregivers.

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Here are 12 behaviors just about every leader wants more of and 12 simple ways to get them.

Want enthusiasm? Give it.

Want change? Become the change.

Want forgiveness? Give it.

Want more autonomy? Give it.

Want to be heard? Lend an ear.

Want recognition? Give it.

Want respect? Show it.

Want consideration? Give it.

Want help? Offer yours.

Want gratitude? Express it.

Want leadership? Be the leader.

Want more? Give more.

HomeCare Blog for Private Duty


What were popular in the past but have recently begun to reemerge as healthcare providers strive to lower costs while simultaneously improve care, house calls continue to show their effectiveness in saving money for federal programs like Medicare, a recent study finds.

Researchers with MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a 926-bed teaching and research hospital in Washington, D.C., found that when medical care for frail seniors with advanced illness shifts to the home, total Medicare costs were reduced by 17% during a two-year period.

The results, which were published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, underscore the value of home-based primary care for aging seniors in the U.S.

Led by K. Eric De Jonge, MD, co-founder of the Medical House Call program at the MedStar Hospital Center, researchers compared Medicare costs and survival of 722 patients enrolled in the hospital Medical House Call practice to a control group of 2,161 patients selected from Medicare claims data.

After analyzing total costs, death rates, patterns of hospital admissions and types of doctor visits, the study concluded that home-based primary care saved an average of $8,477 per patient during two years.

Of notable findings included 9% fewer hospitalizations, 20% fewer emergency room visits, 27% fewer skilled nursing facility stays and 23% fewer specialist visits for those participating in the House Call program.

“Because this group of patients is the most expensive in the medical system, even fractional savings can make a significant dent in health care costs,” said Dr. De Jonge in a written statement. “This study confirms home-based medical care is an effective and lower-cost model of care for these high-risk elders.”

MedStar Washington created its House Call program in 1999 after recognizing the health challenges faced by seniors in its community.

An interdisciplinary team of physicians and nurse practitioners provide on-call telephone coverage 24/7, along with making frequent visits to patients at home and following them in the hospital. Social workers are also included into the mix, as they coordinate psychosocial and supportive services, while clinicians make same day urgent house calls to prevent avoidable hospitalizations and other costly complications.

More house call programs have regained popularity in recent years as healthcare providers grapple with penalties for having higher than average hospital readmission rates and the dilemma of providing higher quality care at lower costs.

“Promoting the health and dignity of elders by helping them remain in their home is hard work, but we can expand these services, if the payment system supports growth of such mobile care teams,” stated Dr. De Jonge.


HomeCare Blog for Private Duty


Exercise is an important part of healthy living. I am somewhat fearful as I age that this probability of maintaining a healthy exercise regimen will significantly decrease.  However, seniors are learning about new alternatives that can allow them to stay fit and active despite what physical limitation they may have compared to their younger counter-parts. I know my own grandma was diligent in her efforts to lift weights in helping her body maintain muscle mass.  Not only that, but she was well-rounded in her athletics by performing aerobic activities 3-4 times a week (brisk walking, water aerobics, stationary bike, etc.)

Finding an exercise that’s right for you may take some time, but sticking with it is what’s most important. Consistent exercise will help maintain muscle mass, increase circulation and prevent diseases like heart disease, diabetes and other health challenges.

At Kinnser-ADL, we understand the importance of living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Home care agencies as well are looking to have a well-rounded and efficient program in place to better serve the seniors in their communities. To learn more about how Kinnser ADL home care software can benefit your home care agency and your life, contact us today to view a free online demo!

HomeCare Blog for Private Duty


My wife is from the Tri-Cities in Washington State and her family is all in the police force in the area. It was great to hear a story about a grandma in the Tri-Cities area that jumped out of her car to help the police catch a fleeing man. Becky Powell was the heroic grandmother that got out of her car and tackled a man running away from the police. She needed some assistance to keep him pinned down but as the police were handcuffing him, she taunted him about being ran down and tackled by a grandmother of three. Becky Powell is a hero and was able to prove that yesterday. However, you don’t need to stop crime in order to be a heroic grandmother. My grandparents are heroes to me because of the life lessons they taught me, the examples they were and the love they showed.

I am happy that my grandparents and great grandparents have not denied the help of home care agencies to provide caregivers. These caregivers have been the key to my grandparents being around longer for me and hopefully for my future kids.

Every great home care agency needs a great home care software and Kinnser ADL is that solution. Kinnser ADL provides the best scheduling, billing, charting, reporting, alerting capabilities in the industry. Contact Kinnser ADL today to see how we can help your company provide the best care!

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We like to think we’ll know what to do when our business hits a rough patch. But do we? Do we know to have "X" amount set aside to pay the bills, employees, contractors and ourselves? Do we make our business and/or marketing plans flexible enough to be able to change on the fly? Do we plan for trends in the marketplace and how we’ll overcome them? Do we plan ahead on changes in the administration of our countries and different mindsets to our current business approaches?

Planning ahead might not stop certain events from happening; but it will surely prepare you better. Are you planning ahead, and if not, should you be, at least just a little?

HomeCare Blog for Private Duty


More than eight in 10 registered voters support action to prevent cuts to Medicare Home Health, a recent national survey finds.

The cuts are estimated to directly affect more than one million seniors and nearly half a million home health professionals.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes July 1 that would reduce Medicare payments to home health agencies by 0.3%, or $58 million, in 2015.

On Jan. 1, 2014, the Medicare home health benefit was subjected to a 14% cut in funding due to the four-year, 3.5% per year rebasing adjustment implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The cut could cause as many as 40% of all home health providers to operate at a loss by 2017, according to a statement released by the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare.

As an alternative to the 14%, four-year cuts instituted by CMS on Jan. 1, Congressmen Greg Walden (R-OR) and Tom Price (R-GA) introduced the Securing Access Via Excellence (SAVE) Medicare Home Health Act (H.R. 5110) on July 15.

The national survey found that 85.6% of respondents favor the delivery of Medicare home health services to homebound seniors; and 81.5% of respondents think lawmakers in Congress should take action to prevent harm to American seniors and home health professionals that will result from the 14% funding cut to Medicare home health services.

The study, conducted as part of a McLaughlin & Associates National Omnibus Poll on Aug. 8, surveyed 1,000 registered voters spanning political party ties.

“These survey results indicate that American voters – across all political affiliations – are deeply opposed to Medicare home health cuts and support replacing these harmful cuts with sustainable, pro-patient reforms,” said Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership.

Based on recent data, CMS estimates that about 3.5 million beneficiaries received home health services from nearly 12,000 home health agencies, costing Medicare approximately $18 billion in 2013.


HomeCare Blog for Private Duty


Working in the home care industry has been an enlightening endeavor that has shed a new light on how significant home care is to not only the seniors that receive services rendered by home care agencies, but so many others as well.

The family that seeks out home care services for their loved ones have a difficult decision to make: try their best without training and resources to take care of their elderly family members or look to trained professionals with appropriate resources to handle their loved one’s needs.  It’s an important decision that requires a lot of research and discussion to have all parties feel good about the choice going forward.

Other beneficiaries of the home care industry include the economy, growing work/job opportunities for those who service the elderly and more cost-effective health care choices to help offset potentially unexpected costs associated with senior care.

And along with the care of the elderly, support industries for their services are growing as well, benefiting additional workers and their local economies.  Kinnser-ADL is one of these web-based software support services, providing the top-of-the-line home care software management tools to assist home care agencies in doing their best to provide the best care possible to their clients.  By streamlining your day-to-day operations through Kinnser ADL, you can focus more on developing excellent relationships with referrals, clients, family members and many more.

To learn more about how Kinnser-ADL can help your home care agency, or be the best software to manage the care your elderly loved ones receive, contact us today to view a free online demo today!

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Throughout our lives we rely on others to keep us company. When we are young it is our parents who keep us company, in college it is our friends and when we are married it is our spouse. But what about those people who don’t have someone with them all the time? Many people like this resort to pets or other ways of not feeling lonely. Recently a grandfather from Belgium lost his wife of 63 years and was left feeling alone. His family jumped to the rescue and provided him with a 24/7 companion to cheer him up. This YouTube video captures the precious moment.

It is obvious in the video how happy the puppy made the older man. I believe it was the feeling that he will not be completely alone is what cheered him up. Like this man, none of us have to be alone! There are home care agencies across the country and even the world that provide companion care for people to help them with daily tasks and to just be a friend. These top home care agencies prefer Kinnser ADL home care software to be their management software because they know they will be able to provide the best and most efficient care with this type of software. If you want to see why so many home care agencies are switching to Kinnser ADL home care software, contact us today to view your own free online demo of the software!

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While President Obama set a goal for all Americans to have a digital health record by this year, cost and other factors indicate significant challenges ahead for the nationwide transition to electronic health records (EHRs) for health care operators, writes the Washington Post in its Health Reform Watch series.

EHRs are believed to be safer and offer access to better coordinated care. However, such systems come with a hefty price tag.

For a five-person practice, the first-year investment costs $162,000 on average, plus nearly $85,000 in maintenance fees, The Washington Post writes, citing a one study. The costs could run into the millions for hospitals.

Yet, operators are making progress, data show.

In 2008, less than 10% of hospitals had at least a basic electronic health system. In 2013, the percentage of hospitals that had at least a basic EHR jumped to 58.9%, data show. In 2013, about 25.5% of hospitals had a comprehensive EHR.

Doctors’ offices show a similar uptake of EHR systems, with about 48.3% having any type of EHR system in 2009 and 78.4% having any EHR system in 2013.

Medicare and Medicaid payment program standards are making it increasingly tough for hospitals and doctors to receive payments from those federal programs.

“It’s one thing to have patient information in digital form, but what really counts is what happens after that,” The Washington Post writes. “Just six percent of hospitals are ready for the second stage of the program this year, when they also face the risk of penalties for not meeting the program’s requirements. The [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation] found that while most hospitals can meet many requirements — such as sending online data to public health agencies and recording patient information — they’re still struggling on one key function: sharing information with patients. Just 10.4% of hospitals can do that now.”

But these functions, as well as the rate of doctors and hospitals investing in electronic records, are likely to increase as health care continues to shift to a system that is rewarding providers for better care, University of Michigan public health professor Julia Adler-Milstein tells The Washington Post.

“If you don’t have this data to know how you’re performing, it’s going to be hard to figure out how to improve value,” Adler-Milstein says.


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