Quarterly News from your WTxHITREC

In This Issue
Notes on the CMS 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule
Let Your Voice Be Heard!
Mariela Agosto-Rivera, MD - WTxHITREC Provider Spotlight
Future of Telemedicine is Bright
Medicaid Physician Specialist Program
Upcoming Webinar
Telemedicine Questions?
Quick Links


CMS Extends Due Date for Medicare EHR Incentive Programs



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Issue: 9
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.
Notes on the CMS 2014 Flexibility Rule


The CMS 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule, effective August 29, 2014,

allows providers to meet Stage 1 or Stage 2 of meaningful use

with EHRs certified to the 2011 or 2014 Edition criteria or a combination of both Editions for an EHR reporting period in 2014.  Only providers who have been unable to fully implement 2014 CEHRT can take advantage of the rule's flexibility options. 


This is key to understanding whether or not the flexibility rule

applies to you.  Keep in mind that the delay must be on the part

of the vendor and not the practice or provider.  If the upgrade to the 2014 version of your EHR was delayed, the Flexibility Rule may apply.  If an upgrade delay was provider driven; i.e. financial reasons, merger in process, or staff turnover - the Flexibility Rule will not apply.


Click here to see the CMS 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Chart.


For more information about the CMS EHR Incentive Program and the Flexibility Rule, contact WTxHITREC.


Submitted by:

Becky Jones, MSN, RN-BC, CPHQ, CHTS-PW

Regional Coordinator 

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Medicaid Eligible Professionals:


Medicaid would like to help providers achieve attestation by providing effective technical assistance and resources in regards to the Texas Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.


To do this, it is necessary to know what Texas providers think about the various program levels of Meaningful Use (MU), as well as what is and is not working.  Your participation will help the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) respond to your current and future attestation needs. 


If you are the MU attestation representative for your organization, please click below to impact the future of health information technology (HIT) in Texas!  


Only complete one survey below, which is based on different stages of the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.  If your organization has-


-registered for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and has not moved further along in the process, please click here: NLR Survey


-attested to the Medicaid Adopt, Implement, or Upgrade (AIU) rule and has not achieved Stage 1 MU, please click here: AIU Survey


-attested to Medicaid Stage 1 MU, please click hereMU Survey


The documentation of your feedback will only take a few minutes.  Thanks for your time and support for HIT initiatives in Texas.


Mariela Agosto-Rivera, MD - WTxHITREC Provider Spotlight


Mariela Agosto-Rivera, M.D., is an internal medicine physician for Hendrick Provider Network in Abilene, Texas.  She was recently named a Meaningful Use Vanguard (MUVer) by the West Texas Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (WTxHITREC) for her leadership in the national electronic health record (EHR) transition.  Dr. Agosto-Rivera's recognition is an initiative of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology designed to honor, thank and bring together clinicians and hospitals that have successfully implemented EHRs.  Dr. Agosto-Rivera has earned the distinction as a leader in health information technology.

 Dr. Agosto-Rivera provides care for patients starting at age 18 with most being geriatrics, 65 and up, with a mixed ethnic demographic base.  Dr. Agosto-Rivera describes her experience with the EHR as a good one and did not have to adjust her practice workflow to become efficient in providing care using the EHR.

 "Transitions of care are better now!  Before when I would admit a patient to the hospital on paper it would take me an hour or so to get all the paperwork together to transfer the patient.  Now, I can transition them in 20 minutes," Agosto-Rivera says.

 One of the lessons realized was the need to continue to communicate with staff on a daily basis to keep everyone on the same page. Another point to ponder would be the transitions of care. "When one of my patients goes in the hospital, I do not always know about it until they come into my office or I get a call from either home health or someone needing me to write orders", Agosto-Rivera says.


Submitted by:

Leta Cross-Gray, MSN, RN-BC, CHTS-CP

Regional Coordinator

 Future of Telemedicine is Bright

In a time of major transformation of healthcare and healthcare delivery, all aimed at improving patient experience, improving quality, and decreasing costs, technology in healthcare will continue to be leveraged. The American Telemedicine Association and federally funded Telehealth Resource Centers, among others, are educating and advocating for legislation and regulatory support to decrease barriers to the use of Telemedicine, opening up many more possibilities in the future.


Despite some current obstacles, there are many successful applications for telemedicine that are being utilized. Through the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health, the Telemedicine division stays busy with video conferencing for many different specialty areas such as burn clinic, psychiatry consults, and infectious disease clinic, to name a few. In the remote areas of West Texas, healthcare providers have identified many different needs which can be improved through the use of telemedicine. TTUHSC physicians currently assist in providing care for correctional facilities, HIV/AIDS clinics, and area school districts. Through these services, the need to travel long distances and re-arrange work schedules for healthcare decreases significantly.


The future looks very bright for telemedicine as it continues to grow in our healthcare community and help change lives.

Submitted by:
Sharon Rose, RN, MAM, BSOE
Regional Coordinator
Becky Jones, MSN, RN-BC, CPHQ, CHTS-PW
Regional Coordinator  
Now Enrolling! Medicaid Physician Specialist Program
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.


Contact the WTxHITREC today at 806-743-7960 to determine your eligibility!

Upcoming Webinar             
Meaningful Use and the Flexibility Rule - Who Qualifies and How To Take Advantage of the Rule             
Date and Time:
Friday, January 23, 2015
12:15pm - 1:00pm CST


Veronica Fernandez, BBA
Regional Coordinator             

Click here to register.
Telemedicine Questions?

WTxHITREC has teamed up with the Telemedicine Department and TexLa Telehealth Resource Center to help support the telehealth movement, contact your WTxHITREC to learn 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