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MAY 2014
In This Issue of REConnection:


Welcome to the May issue of REConnection. We have lots of great information to share with youHere are some of the highlights:

As always, we welcome your feedback and story ideas. Just email us at REConnection Feedback.

Best Regards,
The RI REC Team
On May 20th the Department of Health and Human Services published a new proposed rule providing flexibility to providers and hospitals in using electronic health record (EHR) technology to meet meaningful use.  A major barrier in attesting this year has been the delay in availability of required 2014 Certified EHR technology (software).  The new rule, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), would allow providers to use 2011 Certified EHR technology this year only.  Providers using the older technology would have the option to attest to last year's meaningful use objectives and measures. Providers scheduled to begin Stage 2 in 2014, who are using  2014 certified EHR, but were not able to fully implement the new processes and workflows, would have the option to attest using 2014 Stage 1 objectives and measures.  The rule would also extend Stage 2 meaningful use through 2016 and start Stage 3 in 2017. 

See the press release here

Contact us if you have questions -
stepsSteps to Meaningful Use Spring Event - June 4th

Who Should Attend? Any Practice Working Toward Stage 1 Meaningful Use 

The RI Regional Extension Center is hosting an after-hours open house for providers who have not yet met Stage 1 Meaningful Use. The RI REC team, who are experts in helping practices overcome the barriers of Meaningful Use, will be on hand to meet with practice providers and staff to answer questions and address concerns.

If you have not yet met Stage 1 Meaningful Use, and can answer 'yes' to any of the questions below, please attend this free event!

  • Are you still trying to decide on an EHR?
  • Are you confused about how to make Meaningful Use happen?
  • Are you trying to complete a Security Risk Assessment and don't know where to start?
  • Do you need help registering with CMS?
  • Are you having issues with how to roll out your patient portal?
  • Are you having trouble accessing or running your reports?    
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 
    6:00 PM to 8:30 PM 
    Rhode Island Quality Institute
    50 Holden Street - Suite 300   
    Providence, RI 02908  
Important Information about CurrentCare's Enrollment Process
Changes to subsidy payments will offer the opportunity to earn $5 per enrollment for a limited time

Through the efforts of more than 400 enrollment partners, in June we will hit the 400,000 mark of individuals enrolled.  As enrollment in CurrentCare continues to grow, we are also expanding services, adding new sources of data and increasing provider use. CurrentCare now has nearly 70 data-sharing partners that provide more than 90% of all RI prescription data from retail pharmacies, 90% of all lab data, and data from 100% of RI's hospitals (not including the VA).  We also have telehealth and radiology reports and, in 2013, became the first statewide health information exchange (HIE) in the nation to upload behavioral health and substance abuse data.


All of this hard work is producing results. Right now, we are tracking readmission rates and the effect of CurrentCare Hospital Alerts in reducing 30-day readmissions. Preliminary results of our analysis show fewer readmissions for enrolled patients whose providers subscribe to CurrentCare's Hospital Alerts service.


As part of our continued progress, we are making important improvements to the CurrentCare enrollment process. We will be transitioning away from paper-based enrollment forms to a more efficient online enrollment process. Online enrollment will enable you to easily enroll your patients in CurrentCare and will provide additional benefits to your practice    
If you are an existing enrollment partner currently receiving the $3 enrollment subsidy, your CurrentCare Representative and/or Relationship Manager will be visiting you in the coming weeks to provide tools and resources to assist with the transition.      

Important Dates and Information about Changes to CurrentCare Enrollment



June 1, 2014  

Subsidy payment frequency moves from weekly to monthly


June 13, 2014


ent partners currently receiving the $3.00 subsidy will receive $3.00 subsidy for all successful paper and online enrollments received at the Rhode Island Quality Institute by end of business on June 13, 2014  

June 16, 2014


Enrollment partners will begin receiving a $1.00 subsidy payment for all successful

paper enrollments

June 16, 2014 - September 16, 2014 


Enrollment partners will receive a $5.00 subsidy payment only during this period of time for all successful online enrollments


September 16, 2014


Enrollment partners will receive a $1.00 subsidy payment for all successful
paper enrollments
Enrollment partners will receive a $2.00 subsidy payment for all successful online enrollments  
If you are not an enrollment partner and interested in becoming one, contact us today or attend a brief webinar explaining the changes.  Click on either date to register:  
If you have any questions, please contact us at:   
Phone: (888) 924-4156 or visit our website:

I6Important Medicare Deadline Approaching

Eligible Professionals Must Start Medicare EHR Participation in 2014
to Earn Incentives

If you are an eligible professional for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, 2014 is the
last year you can start participation in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in order to receive incentive payments.  Eligible professionals who begin participation in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program after 2014 will
not be able to earn an incentive payment for that year or any subsequent year of participation.


If you choose to participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for the first time in 2014, you should begin your 90-day reporting period no later than July 1, 2014 and submit attestation by October 1, 2014 in order to avoid the payment adjustment in 2015 October 1 is the attestation deadline for eligible professionals in their first year of participation to avoid the payment adjustment, however, eligible professionals who miss this deadline can still demonstrate meaningful use during the last 90-day reporting period of the year (October - December 2014) and earn an incentive payment for 2014. 
tipsMeaningful Use Tip: Update on Hardship Exceptions 
Applications must be submitted no later than midnight EDT July 1, 2014

Eligible professionals and eligible hospitals may be exempt from payment adjustments if they can show that demonstrating meaningful use would result in a significant hardship. To be considered for an exception, an eligible professional or eligible hospital must complete a Hardship Exception application along with proof of the hardship. If approved, the hardship exception is valid for 1 payment year only. A new application must be submitted if the hardship continues for the following payment year. In no case may a provider be granted an exception for more than 5 years.  

Eligible Professional (EP) Hardship Exception Application*  

*Hand written applications may delay processing 
Not All Providers Apply for Hardship Exceptions  Some providers will automatically be granted a hardship exception for 2015. CMS will use available information on these providers to determine their hardship exception.

The following providers do not need to submit a hardship application:
  • New providers in their first year (both eligible professionals and eligible hospitals)
  • Eligible professionals who are hospital-based: a provider is considered hospital-based if he or she provides more than 90% of their covered professional services in either an inpatient (Place of Service 21) or emergency department (Place of Service 23) of a hospital*
  • Eligible professionals with certain PECOS specialties (05, 22, 30, 36, 94)
  • Eligible professionals should verify that their PECOS specialty is up to date
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D6Don't Miss these Upcoming Events!

CurrentCare Enrollment Process Updates

: Jillian Davison and Phil DeSimone

Please select one of the two sessions below.      

As part of our continued progress, we are making important improvements to the CurrentCare enrollment process. We will be transitioning away from the paper-based enrollment forms most of you are currently using to a more efficient online enrollment process. Online enrollment will enable you to easily enroll your patients in CurrentCare and will provide additional benefits to your practice.  Please join us to learn more about these important changes and allow us to answer any questions you may have.    

REGISTER for June 9th at 12:15-12:45 PM

REGISTER for June 11th at 8:30 - 9:00 AM


REConnection Live

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
12:15 PM - 1:00 PM

Presenters: Peggy Menna & Brian Miller, RI REC   

This webinar is the live version of our newsletter where we will bring you up-to-date information about topics of interest to the Provider Community concerning Healthcare Technology and beyond. We'll discuss what's happening both nationally and locally with the meaningful use initiative. Hear a brief, live discussion about these topics and more! As always, we will open the floor for questions of current topics after the session.



2014 PQRS Basics - Avoiding Penalties & Preparing for Value-Based Payment   

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
  12:15-12:45 PM

Presenters: Brenda Jenkins, RN, D.Ay., CPEHR, PCMH CCE & Lauren Capizzo, MBA, CPEHR, PCMH CCE  

Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) is a reporting program that uses a combination of incentive payments and payment adjustments to promote reporting of quality information by eligible professionals and group practices.  Join our colleagues Brenda Jenkins and Lauren Capizzo from Healthcentric Advisors to learn about incentives for successfully reporting in 2014; penalties for not successfully reporting in 2014; Meaningful Use and PQRS synergies; and preparing for Value-Based Payment modification.










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H5Health IT Professional Certification
The RI Regional Extension Center offers free licenses to take online Health IT professional certification courses.  Upon successful completion of a course, you can add the appropriate credential after your name. This offer is available to Rhode Island primary care providers and specialists, their office staff, and any Rhode Island-based college student enrolled in a health IT-related course of study.  
Click here for more information about this programor contact the RI REC at 888-858-4815.  Participation is available on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to December 2014
H7Have You Completed Your Security Risk Assessment?


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed a new Security Risk Assessment tool to help providers evaluate the security of their environment and potential risk. It is primarily geared toward small and medium sized practices.  The resource is free and available at:    


Rhode Island Medical Journal:  May 2014 Edition  

RIQI is pleased to share the May 2014 edition of the Rhode Island Medical Journal, the monthly publication of the Rhode Island Medical Society. It offers peer-reviewed articles by local authors on a broad variety of mostly clinical topics.  Each month, the Journal features commentaries by Dr. Stan Aronson and Dr. Joseph Friedman, full-color photographs and illustrations, human interest items, historical notes and articles, news of the Warren Alpert Medical School, obituaries and much more. It is a uniquely interdisciplinary publication for and by the Rhode Island healthcare community.   

Read the May Edition


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The RI Regional Extension Center (RI REC) is a service of the Rhode Island Quality Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality, safety, and value of health care in Rhode Island. To learn more, visit


RI REC and its services and materials are made possible through a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology with US Department of Health and Human Services support.

REConnection is intended to provide the Rhode Island healthcare community and other interested stakeholders with timely news and information about RI REC's programs, resources, and educational activities that support the adoption of health information technology.

To learn more about participating in RI REC's EHR Adoption, HIE/CurrentCare, and Direct Adoption Programs, please call  888-924-4156 or write to