Policy, IT has big presence at MGMA

October 2, 2013 in Medical Technology

This year’s Medical Group Management Association annual conference in San Diego, Oct. 6-9, is all about getting down to the nitty-gritty, said Robert Tennant, MGMA’s senior policy advisor.

Whereas previous years focused more on the basics of say how to pick out an electronic health record or how to get started with policy mandates, this year’s conference promises a more granular focus.

“We have a lot of folks who are already on the technology bandwagon,” said Tennant in an interview with Healthcare IT News, so “a lot of our folks have moved ahead of the (basics).”

Now, he says, it’s on to the more challenging side of healthcare information technology – how to meet the various mandates that are going to impact providers – ICD-10, HIPAA compliance, new payment models, the beat goes on. “Some of these things never seem to go away,” said Tennant.

[See also: Technology meets finance at MGMA.]

This year, the association has seen a big interest in policy and healthcare legislation, along with information technology.

ICD-10, with a swiftly approaching switchover date of October 2014, will be the topic of several sessions, including one – Implementing ICD-10 and the New Administrative Simplification Standards on Monday, Oct. 7, from 2-3 p.m. – by Tennant himself. These sessions include everything from “how do I make it happen in one year” to finding external trading partners, said Tennant.

IT-centric sessions include topics such as  physician portals, EHR optimization and compliance, and even one on the seven symptoms of a troubled EHR implementation, slated for Monday, Oct. 7, from 4-5 p.m.

Information technology, Tennant says, will continue to play an integral role at future MGMA conferences: “There’s always something coming around the corner that’s going to impact them in the area of HIT.”

This year’s conference also may bring with it a buzz unique to 2013. The recent government shutdown in Washington – the first shutdown in 17 years – may very well be the talk of the conference among attendees and how it relates to them. “I’m very hopeful that Republicans and Democrats are going to come to some agreement,” Tennant said. “All of these changes create uncertainty in the environment.”

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Article source: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/policy-it-make-big-presence-mgma

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