Quarterly News from your WTxHITREC

In This Issue
Medicaid Physician Specialist Program
White Space Planning
Stage 2 Meaningful Use
Rural HIT Workforce Program
ICD-10 and the Impact on your Practice
Direct Messaging & the Trust Component
Attesting to MU - Texas Medicaid
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Issue: 5
Enjoy your Quarterly News from your West Texas Health IT Regional Extension Center (WTxHITREC) and please feel free to forward this email to any of your colleagues or interested parties. 
Contact the WTxHITREC at 806-743-7960 or info@wtxhitrec.org to learn more about our services for primary care providers and additional service lines, serving all health care providers and hospitals through a flexible payment model!
Now Enrolling! Medicaid Physician Specialist Program

Contact the WTxHITREC Today!


The Medicaid Physician Specialist Program is federally funded through the Texas Health & Human Services Commission.  With this funding, all costs are covered for eligible physicians and NO FEES will be associated with this program.

ervices are available for physicians, who serve a Medicaid population of 30% or greater, in selecting, implementing, and achieving meaningful use of certified EHR products, as well as, support with privacy & security and registration/attestation assistance for Medicaid EHR incentive payments.


Eligible specialties will include:




-Pulmonary Disease



Please contact the WTxHITREC at 806-743-7960 for more information and to enroll today.

White Space Planning - West Texas HIE Advisory Committee

To effectively pursue query-based exchange for the White Space, which is a designated area of West Texas not currently served by a local community-based health information exchange (HIE), the Texas Health and Human Services Commission has initiated a contract with the WTxHITREC. Under this contract, the WTxHITREC is supporting a planning process that has convened interested stakeholders and healthcare leaders in the White Space to form a West Texas HIE Advisory Committee responsible for identifying (an) HIE solution(s) for the White Space region and a governance structure for that/those HIE(s).


These stakeholder meetings were held to understand the HIE needs and preference of stakeholders located in the White Space and to identify participants for the West Texas HIE Advisory Committee. Each event received great representation and attendance from healthcare providers and healthcare leaders in the White Space, including San Angelo, Wichita Falls, Abilene, and the surrounding rural areas.  


For those of you unable to participate in person or through a webinar, please view www.wtxhitrec.org to listen/view the recorded webinar. After viewing this information, if you have additional questions or are interested in submitting an application to join the West Texas HIE Advisory Committee, please call 806-743-7467. All applications must be submitted by December 6th.

Are You Ready for Meaningful Use Stage 2?


As of October 1, 2013, eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) officially entered year 2014, the beginning of meaningful use stage 2. January 1, 2014 will mark the beginning of stage 2 meaningful use for eligible providers. During the past year, there has been a great deal of work going on behind the scenes to prepare for this change; electronic health record (EHR) vendors have been preparing their systems for stage 2 objectives to receive certification, hospital staff are completing stage 1 meaningful use and formulating plans for stage 2, and Regional Extension Centers have been interpreting stage 2 final rules as they create successful work plans to assist hospitals and providers. There are numerous updates coming for stage 2 meaningful use.  Below you will find a simplified version of the upcoming changes:


  • Eligible providers, hospitals and CAHs must have a 2014 certified EHR system regardless of the meaningful use stage they are attesting to

  • Most of the menu objectives have been moved to core objectives

  • Many of the core objectives from stage 1 will be combined with existing or new measures in stage 2

  • There are 6 menu objectives and 3 of the 6 must be reported on, exclusions may not be claimed if there are other menu objectives which can be met

  • For eligible hospitals and CAHs, all three public health measures have been moved to core objectives in stage 2

  • The biggest change for 2014 will be the introduction of patient portals and electronic submission of summary of care transitions


Click here to read more 


Submitted by

Sharon Rose, RN, MAM, BSOE

WTxHITREC Regional Coordinator

Rural HIT Workforce Program

Submit your Application Today!  


Through collaboration with the Area Health Education Center of the Plains and Midland College, the WTxHITREC will be providing service-learning and apprenticeship as a component of the Rural Health Information Technology Workforce Program to focus on developing the health care providers of the future as well as supporting current health professionals in West Texas.


For selection criteria, the application process, and curriculum please view the following website:



ICD-10 and the Impact on your Practice

In order to be completely prepared for the impact of ICD-10, you will need to assess every facet of business within your practice where codes could potentially be utilized. You will need to assess areas such as coding, billing, clinical documentation, information technology, electronic health record systems, accounts payable and receivable, denials, referrals, authorizations, and any forms or documents that may need to be revised.


Initially, you will need to gather the diagnosis codes most frequently used on medical claims within your practice. Once this is complete, use proper ICD-10 code resources to help you assign the best matches. You need to understand how communication takes place within your facility between coders, billers and clinicians. This line of communication will more than likely need to increase in the coming months to help prepare for the in-depth coding ICD-10 requires. Explain to your staff how clinical documentation can make all the difference in supporting each other and aiding in proper code selection and communicate your findings with your staff, including physicians and clinicians. Gaining a better understanding of what ICD-10 entails can help healthcare professionals navigate the challenges of this transition.


Click here to read more  


Submitted by 

Cappi Phillips

WTxHITREC Regional Coordinator   

Direct Messaging & the Trust Component between HISPs

During a press release in March 2013, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) announced that it awarded DirectTrust.org, Inc. (DirectTrust) an Exemplar Governance cooperative agreement to develop and adopt a common set of policies and practices to support vendor-to-vendor exchange and interoperability for Direct exchange.  In addition, through the cooperative agreement DirectTrust will focus on the development of an accreditation program geared towards Direct exchange companies, known as Health Information Service Providers (HISP), to expand and promote the adoption of trust and security rules through trust anchor distribution services with ongoing governance of the DirectTrust community.  As stated by Kory Mertz, Challenge Grant Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "DirectTrust works with the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) to provide a transparent accreditation process that gives Direct service providers and their subscribers a way of knowing that exchange participants meet or exceed a set of minimum policy, security, and business practices."


Click here to read more  


Submitted by 

Leta Cross-Gray, MSN, RN, CHTS-CP 

WTxHITREC Regional Coordinator   

Attesting to Meaningful Use - Texas Medicaid

Required Documentation for the Texas Medicaid EHR Incentive Program


As an eligible professional (EP) moving forward in the Texas Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program from Adopt / Implement / Upgrade (AIU) to Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 1 and beyond, it is important to maintain auditable records to support your attestation. To receive MU incentives, EPs must show that they are meaningfully using the certified EHR technology by reporting on MU and clinical quality measures.


The following are the required documents that must be uploaded into the Texas Medicaid EHR Incentive Program portal at the time of your MU attestation:


Click here to read more information provided by the Texas Health and Human Services


Do you have any items you would like to know more about or see in the next newsletter?

If so, please contact the WTxHITREC with any newsletter additions, questions or service needs at 806-743-7960 or info@wtxhitrec.org



Carson Scott, MPA

Director Marketing, Outreach, Education & Communications
WTxHITREC - Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center