Florida APD Service Authorizations changing to Quarterly!

APD has shared that Service authorizations will be completed on a quarterly basis.  This provision will go into effect when areas phase in the iBudget system.  This means Areas 1 and 2 will operate under the new Service Authorization system this quarter.  Areas 3 and 4 will be transitioned to the new system in the next wave, and all areas are to be under the iBudget system by April 2012.

When I first began looking for an electronic system as CEO of UCP of East Central Florida (at that time) I was primarily seeking a system that would assist our organization in managing Service Authorizations and Billing.   Therap created that functionality and we began using the system in 2006.  If it were not for Therap, we would not be able to manage Service Authorizations and would have clearly left “money” on the table.

Today, it is far worse than leaving money on the table if Service Authorizations are not maximized…

Individuals loose services!

With APD going to Quarterly Service Authorizations, it will become extremely challenging if not impossible to manage Service Authorizations!  For Therap Users, Service authorizations are tracked by percentage left and expiration date, both have notification features which are set by the User.   In addition, Utilization Management Reports can be run  at anytime, so Providers know what balances are remaining for each service authorized and how those services are being provided and what average uses are so decisions can be made about how much services should be provided looking ahead.

This could be the time to seriously look at implementing Therap Services in your organization!

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Therap Services…The Standard in Electronic Documentation for Organizations and States supporting individuals with Developmental Disabilities!

Governor Scott Appoints New State Director for Florida APD

Governor Scott Names Agency Leaders

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today announced the appointment of
executive directors for three state agencies. Cynthia Lorenzo, who has
served as interim director since January, will lead the Agency for
Workforce Innovation. Mike Hansen will head the Agency for Persons with
Disabilities, and Doug Darling will lead the new Department of Economic
Opportunity.  Darling will also coordinate the transition of existing
agencies into the new one, which streamlines the state’s economic
development functions and becomes effective October 1, 2011.

Cynthia Lorenzo has led the Agency for Workforce Innovation since 2009, and
previously was a deputy director, beginning in 2007. Before joining the
agency, she served at the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, beginning
in 2005 as communications director and later as chief of staff and Interim
Secretary. She previously served in the communications office of the
Florida Department of Transportation.

“Cynthia has basically led the Agency for Workforce Innovation for the past
five years,” Governor Scott said. “I am proud today to remove her ‘interim’
designation.”

Mike Hansen has more than 30 years of experience with health and human
services policy and budgeting, beginning as a research assistant in Miami
with the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.  As head
of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Mike Hansen returns to the
executive branch of state government with 22 years of experience in various
roles with the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives. Under
Governor Jeb Bush, Hansen served as the director of the Office of Policy
and Budget from 2003 to 2006 and as Health and Human Services Policy
Coordinator from 1999 to 2002.  Most recently, he was staff director for
the Florida Senate’s Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

“Mike’s extensive experience with Medicaid services and budgeting will be
of tremendous help as we continue to work to ensure the availability of
services to one of Florida’s most vulnerable populations,” Governor Scott
said.  “At the same time, he will help us work with members of the
disabilities community to develop strategies to avoid future budget
deficits.”

Doug Darling currently serves within the Executive Office of the Governor
as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Cabinet Affairs.  He has served in
Florida’s state government for 15 years at the Department of Financial
Services, the Department of Education and, most recently, as Chief of Staff
and Inspector General for the Department of Environmental Protection.
Previously, while serving in the United States Marine Corps, he was the
Congressional liaison in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, as well
as Comptroller in the Marine Air Wing.  He is a graduate of Ball State
University.

“As we work to make Florida the best place for businesses to grow, expand
and create jobs, I am confident in Doug’s ability to lead our efforts to
streamline existing economic development functions into one agency,”
Governor Scott said. “Along with Commerce Secretary Gray Swoope, the
Department of Economic Opportunity with Doug Darling at the helm will help
our state create jobs for Floridians.”

Exciting New Feature to be Released in Version 9.1

Check out this Webinar in Justin’s Blog about “Unification” and tracking outside referrals made from Service Coordinators, Case Managers, Etc.   This release makes Therap functionality very good for Coordinating Services and Referrals and includes some nice new Admin features as well.  It is very cool!!!

Justin’s Blog: Release 9.1 Webinar

Travelling the Florida Panhandle

A quick stop in Panama City this week as I travel the Florida Panhandle.

Panama City

St Andrew Bay!  A BEA-utiful sunset glow!  Headed East this evening toward Daytona Beach and the off to Port St Lucie for a “Wedding”!  There must be something in the air.

If you are looking at Therap Services for the first time, visit our Website at www.TherapServices.net where you will find an abundance of information about Therap.  There are over 700 organizations using Therap Services across 45 States, and 5 States are using Therap Statewide to manage their Disability Systems.  What do they all know that you don’t?  Check us out and find out!

Electronic Documentation for I/DD providersTherap Services…The “Paperless” standard in electronic documentation for organizations and States serving developmental disabilities!

FINAL RULES RELEASED TO SUPPORT MEANINGFUL USE OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS


For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Contact: CMS Office of Public Affairs
202-690-6145

SECRETARY SEBELIUS ANNOUNCES FINAL RULES TO SUPPORT MEANINGFUL USE OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS

Secretary Sebelius Announces Final Rules To Support

‘Meaningful Use’ of Electronic Health Records

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced final rules to help improve Americans’ health, increase safety and reduce health care costs through expanded use of electronic health records (EHR).

“For years, health policy leaders on both sides of the aisle have urged adoption of electronic health records throughout our health care system to improve quality of care and ultimately lower costs,” Secretary Sebelius said.  “Today, with the leadership of the President and the Congress, we are making that goal a reality.”

Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, eligible health care professionals and hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt certified EHR technology and use it to achieve specified objectives.  One of the two regulations announced today defines the “meaningful use” objectives that providers must meet to qualify for the bonus payments, and the other regulation identifies the technical capabilities required for certified EHR technology.

Announcement of today’s regulations marks the completion of multiple steps laying the groundwork for the incentive payments program.  With “meaningful use” definitions in place, EHR system vendors can ensure that their systems deliver the required capabilities, providers can be assured that the system they acquire will support achievement of “meaningful use” objectives, and a concentrated five-year national initiative to adopt and use electronic records in health care can begin.

“This is a turning point for electronic health records in America, and for improved quality and effectiveness in health care,” said David Blumenthal, M.D., National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.  “In delivering on the goals that Congress called for, we have sought to provide the leadership and coordination that are essential for a large, technology-based enterprise.  At the same time, we have sought and received extensive input from the health care community, and we have drawn on their experience and wisdom to produce objectives that are both ambitious and achievable.”

Two companion final rules were announced today.  One regulation, issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), defines the minimum requirements that providers must meet through their use of certified EHR technology in order to qualify for the payments.  The other rule, issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), identifies the standards and certification criteria for the certification of EHR technology, so eligible professionals and hospitals may be assured that the systems they adopt are capable of performing the required functions.

As much as $27 billion may be expended in incentive payments over ten years.  Eligible professionals may receive as much as $44,000 under Medicare and $63,750 under Medicaid, and hospitals may receive millions of dollars for implementation and meaningful use of certified EHRs under both Medicare and Medicaid.

The CMS rule announced today make  final a proposed rule issued on Jan, 13, 2010.  The final rule includes modifications that address stakeholder concerns while retaining the intent and structure of the incentive programs.  In particular, while the proposed rule called on eligible professionals to meet 25 requirements (23 for hospitals) in their use of EHRs, the final rules divides the requirements into a “core” group of requirements that must be met, plus an additional “menu” of procedures from which providers may choose.  This “two track” approach ensures that the most basic elements of meaningful EHR use will be met by all providers qualifying for incentive payments, while at the same time allowing latitude in other areas to reflect providers’ needs and their individual path to full EHR use.

“CMS received more than 2,000 comments on our proposed rule,” said Marilyn Tavenner, Principal Deputy Administrator of CMS.  “Many comments were from those who will be most immediately affected by EHR technology – health care providers and patients.  We carefully considered every comment and the final meaningful use rules incorporate changes that are designed to make the requirements achievable while meeting the goals of the HITECH Act.”

Requirements for meaningful use incentive payments will be implemented over a multi-year period, phasing in additional requirements that will raise the bar for performance on IT and quality objectives in later years.  The final CMS rule specifies initial criteria that eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals, including critical access hospitals (CAHs), must meet.  The rule also includes the formula for the calculation of the incentive payment amounts; a schedule for payment adjustments under Medicare for covered professional services and inpatient hospital services provided by EPs, eligible hospitals and CAHs that fail to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology by 2015; and other program participation requirements.

Key changes in the final CMS rule include:

Greater flexibility with respect to eligible professionals and hospitals in meeting and reporting certain objectives for demonstrating meaningful use.  The final rule divides the objectives into a “core” group of required objectives and a “menu set” of procedures from which providers may choose any five to defer in 2011-2012.  This gives providers latitude to pick their own path toward full EHR implementation and meaningful use.

  • An objective of providing condition-specific patient education resources for both EPs and eligible hospitals and the objective of recording advance directives for eligible hospitals, in line with recommendations from the Health Information Technology Policy Committee.
  • A definition of a hospital-based EP as one who performs substantially all of his or her services in an inpatient hospital setting or emergency room only, which  conforms to the Continuing Extension Act of 2010
  • CAHs within the definition of acute care hospital for the purpose of incentive program eligibility under Medicaid.

CMS’ and ONC’s final rules complement two other recently issued HHS rules.  On June 24, 2010, ONC published a final rule establishing a temporary certification program for health information technology. And on July 8, 2010 the Office for Civil Rights announced a proposed rule that would strengthen and expand privacy, security, and enforcement protections under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

As part of this process, HHS is establishing a nationwide network of Regional Extension Centers to assist providers in adopting and using in a meaningful way certified EHR technology.

“Health care is finally making the technology advances that other sectors of our economy began to undertake years ago,” Dr. Blumenthal said.  “These changes will be challenging for clinicians and hospitals, but the time has come to act.  Adoption and meaningful use of EHRs will help providers deliver better and more effective care, and the benefits for patients and providers alike will grow rapidly over time.”

A CMS/ONC fact sheet on the rules is available at http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/

Technical fact sheets on CMS’s final rule are available at http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/

A technical fact sheet on ONC’s standards and certification criteria final rule is available at http://healthit.hhs.gov/standardsandcertification

Therap Is Growing In Central Florida!

Central Florida Communities Inc
Our newest customer in Central Florida is  DSI Management, LLC

www.DSIManagement.com

DSI operates a most well respected provider organization of disability services:            Central Florida Communities, Inc.

www.cfccommunities.com

Serving Orange, Seminole, Brevard and Lake Counties the CFC Mission is:

To strive each day for excellence… by supporting and encouraging each individual to achieve the highest level of independence in an environment that promotes independence, choice, dignity, happiness and opportunities to participate in decisions affecting every aspect of their lives.

Central Florida Communities, Inc. (CFC) has warm, welcoming, home-inspired facilities and programs for individuals with developmental disabilities in Orange, Brevard, Lake and Seminole Counties.

CFC operates three 64-bed Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled (ICF/DD’s), Howell Branch Court, Lake View Court and Washington Square. Each is a living center for individuals who require around the clock care, including nursing and medical oversight, and can benefit from on-site activities and community outings.

CFC also operates 17 Group Homes which are six-bed community integrated homes serving children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Central Florida Group Homes is a premiere-best practice-well managed organization!  Therap Services we are proud to welcome CFC to the Therap Family.   We are also excited that CFC has hired a Certified Therap Trainer, Kristen Thompson,  to lead the implementation and training of Therap at CFC.

Picture of Kristen Thompson, Certified Trainer of Therap

DSI is looking forward to a future of efficient and effective documentation with the help of Therap Services.  As the Director of Therap Implementation and Training for DSI, Kristen Thompson believes that using a documentation system like Therap provides staff with a complete and up to date knowledge of the people they serve, while protecting confidentiality and reducing environmental impacts.

DSI Management, LLC specializes in management of communities for the elderly, facilities and programs for the developmentally disabled, and programs that provide a full range of services to individuals in their homes.

Kristen & Kris Keppler, Therap Training & Implementation Specialist have 300+staff to train in Therap and are finishing-up training this week in Titusville.   Both CFC and Therap are fortunate to have Kristen, her energy, passion and leadership to assure the best of success!

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