Quarterly News from your WTxHITREC

In This Issue
Deadlines Approaching
Medicaid Physician Specialist Program
Journey to ICD-10
Supporting Documentation?
Myths and Facts for MU
Remaining Compliant with Health IT
Optometrists Now Eligible
Quick Links

Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Issue: 6
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!
Attestation Deadlines Approaching to Receive 2013 Incentive Payments

Attention Eligible Providers - Deadlines to attest to a 2013 meaningful use incentive payment are right around the corner!


Medicare has extended its deadline to March 31st and the deadline for Medicaid is March 16th!

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, 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.


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

Where is Your Practice on the Journey to ICD-10?

Based on experience from speaking with multiple health care providers, many provider practices are not where they should be when it comes to being ready for the ICD-10 implementation deadline of October 1, 2014. In order to prepare for this deadline, health care organizations should have begun physician and coder training no later than January of 2014, providers will need to start working on their documentation improvement, and overall documentation will be the key to success when trying to meet the coding guidelines. In addition, it is recommended that coders attend classes and/or online education programs to ramp up their knowledge medically, as well as the new coding structure and requirements.


The good news is that organizations are able to make up for lost ground. First and foremost, develop a contingency plan and put timeline goals in place; protecting an organization's revenue is crucial to being able to continue financial stability during this transition time. It is anticipated that the move to ICD-10 has the potential to cause significant productivity losses and claims payment disruptions of up to 10% in each practice; accurate budgeting will be vital to offset the scale of this impact.


Click here to read more  


Submitted by 

Cappi Phillips

WTxHITREC Regional Coordinator   

Supporting Documentation?

The WTxHITREC has seen increasing electronic health record incentive audit activity for both hospitals and providers in the West Texas area! Please be aware of the importance of supporting documentation to demonstrate compliance with the meaningful use objectives. The WTxHITREC team has detailed checklists to comply with these measures and may assist providers and hospitals with the documentation required.


For WTxHITREC members, please contact you Regional Coordinator or for non-members, please call 806-743-7960 for more information on how to join!


For further information, please view the following link 

Myths and Facts for Meaningful Use Going Forward

Myth: Once I attest to MU, I don't have to continue attesting.


Fact: False. Once a provider or hospital attests to MU they must continue attesting through all the stages in order to not be penalized by CMS starting in 2015.


Myth: Providers do not need to worry about adopting the 2014 Edition certified EHR technology that was required in 2014 before the delayed Stage 3 CMS ruling.


Fact: The new Stage 2 MU timeline does not change the requirement that all providers/hospitals must adopt the 2014 Edition CEHRT to demonstrate MU, regardless of Stage. All providers must adopt the 2014 Certified Edition in 2014.


Myth: The new MU timeline, from the delayed Stage 3 ruling, affects all providers.


Fact: In reality the early adopters are the only providers affected by the new MU timeline who will remain in Stage 2 for three years (i.e., 2014, 2015, and 2016), instead of two. The providers who attested for the 90 day MU in 2013 or later, will not affect the timelines finalized in the CMS Stage 2 Final Rule.


Information was gathered from the following link, please view for more information-

5 Myths - CMS Stage 3 Delay Announcement 


Submitted by 

Leta Cross-Gray, MSN, RN, CHTS-CP 

WTxHITREC Regional Coordinator   

Remaining Compliant with Health IT Today


Health care in the United States continues to rapidly evolve with many recent changes including initiatives such as stage 2 of meaningful use, health information exchange, quality initiatives, ICD-10 transformation, Affordable Care Act, and consumer-driven health care. To stay ahead of these changes, health care providers and hospitals must have trusted resources available to offer current and future insight that supports quality health care and maintains compliance. Across the country, many providers and hospitals rely on regional extension centers as their resource to provide them with education and assistance relating to these changes.


The West Texas Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (WTxHITREC) is committed to acting as the trusted advisor for West Texas and supporting these ongoing efforts of health care providers and hospitals to ultimately provide better, safer quality of care. Currently, the WTxHITREC has determined that avoiding upcoming Medicare penalties, the preparation for electronic health record (EHR) incentive payment audits, and the transition to ICD-10 have taken "center stage" in health care leaders' purview of concern:


Medicare Penalties Approaching (take note of October 1, 2014 deadline)


Click here to read more 


Submitted by

Carson Scott, MPA

WTxHITREC Director of Marketing, Outreach, Education & Communications

Optometrists Now Qualify for Medicaid EHR Incentive Payments!


On February 11, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a Texas State Plan Amendment (SPA) that will allow optometrists to qualify as an eligible professional (EP) for purposes of participating in the Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.


Click here to read more 


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