Health IT Newsletter – November 2015

Health IT Newsletter – November 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the holiday season! Thank you to all of you who helped connect your CMS accounts so that we can manage them efficiently.  We shall continue to send reminders to providers to complete this process before the end of the year.

***In order to improve automation of MU reporting to CMS, please respond to a CMS I&A Connection Request email you received. This will allow TTUHSC El Paso to manage our MU attestation efficiently, and avoid asking for passwords going forward.

Meaningful Use (MU)

There are approximately six (6) weeks left in the 2015 CMS Meaningful Use (MU) program year. Staff of the Clinical Information Systems (CIS) and Office of Clinical Informatics will be approaching providers who are at risk of missing out on Meaningful Use to assist them in attaining it by December 31.

As mentioned in the previous newsletter, CMS changed the MU measures for 2015.  This affects the bi-weekly scorecards, which are delayed until scorecards with the most up-to-date measures become available.

Starting next week, I will send out status updates on how departments are doing in the two most challenging measures – Patient Electronic Access: View, Download and Transmit (VDT) and Health Information Exchange: Transfer of Care (TOC).

Location/Specialty Total Providers per Specialty Total Providers meeting VDT Measure Performance
SURGERY 17 3 18%
ORTHO 13 3 23%
INTERNAL MED 42 10 24%
OB/GYN 19 6 32%
Total 167 43 25%


Congratulations to Family Medicine for leading the pack in MU measure View, Download and Transmit (VDT)!

Physician Compare

CMS presently has a website called Physician Compare – which was initiated to display physician information and scores for physician quality reporting.  Initially, the only information available on Physician Compare was:

The information on Physician Compare comes primarily from the Provider, Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS). PECOS data is checked against Medicare claims data.

CMS will soon start reporting 2014 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures. Individual and group performance scores will be publicly reported on Physician Compare. Quality measure data display on Physician Compare in plain language. The performance rates show as stars and percentages. The plain language measure titles, descriptions, and displays test with consumers to ensure that they accurately interpret performance.

As a group practice, I expect that reported measures for TTUHSC El Paso will be group measures (see attached).  However, it is important to keep track of individual measures as well, and we are working with the primary care groups on HEDIS measures that are aligned as well (individual measures attached as well).

Over the next month, we will begin to disseminate information to the clinical chairs, administrators, and clinical faculty regarding our PQRS scores and CMS reported patient satisfaction scores.  I hope that this will initiate/spark an open, thought-provoking discussion regarding our clinical quality, how to improve it, if needed, and ways technology assists in this journey.

So What’s New?

UMC CSI – University Medical Center El Paso continues to upgrade to Cerner, both in-patient and outpatient.  Faculty and residents are presently involved in creating in-patient note templates for electronic documentation.  I will continue to share updates as the project continues towards a June 1, 2016 launch.

Digital Health Bytes

  • Why are doctors being graded – read here.
  • To stay competitive in the new world of health care, interoperability is the newest buzzword – read here.
  • Maybe Watson isn’t that great after all?– read here.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding our EMR, Clinical Information Systems and any issues you have with the direction we are taking in Digital Health.

Thank you.




Ogechika K Alozie, M.D., M.P.H., CPHIMS
Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO)
Office of Clinical Informatics