Is Meaningful Use over?

Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, made some bold remarks at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, most notably stating that “The meaningful use program as it has existed will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.”   He went on to describe that “something better” would take the form of MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act), a combination of merit based incentive programs and alternative payment models, which will be rolled out in coming years.

This statement was met with approval from many healthcare providers, who have been vocal in their criticism of Meaningful Use (MU). However, others were merely left confused by what seemed to be the sudden death of a program into which many had invested so much time and money.

In the wake of this confusion, he and ONC Director, Karen DeSalvo released a follow up statement on the CMS blog:

“The approach to meaningful use under MACRA won’t happen overnight. Our goal in communicating our principles now is to give everyone time to plan for what’s next and to continue to give us input. We encourage you to look for the MACRA regulations this year; in the meantime, our existing regulations – including meaningful use Stage 3 – are still in effect.”

What initially sounded like the sudden death of Meaningful Use, now sounds a gradual transition to MACRA. And healthcare providers breathing a sigh of relief at avoiding MU stage 3 may want to hold off on that relaxation; according to this timeline, published by the American Academy of Family Physicians in December 2015,  MU stage 3 will continue until 2018.

A timeline for physician payment related to MACRA.

If Meaningful Use is not over until at least 2018, meeting Stage 3 is a reality we need to face.

As CMS reveals their plans for MACRA, we hope to learn more about what that means for healthcare providers and the technology required.  Whatever the regulatory future looks like, we will continue to develop tools that meet the new standards.  We have supported Meaningful Use from the beginning, we’ll support MU stage 3 until it’s truly over, and be ready for MACRA when it comes into action.

Delivering healthcare in the face of complicated, and forever changing regulations is surely difficult (take heart, it’s difficult for vendors too!) but our aim is always to deliver tools that take a complicated process and make it easier to manage operationally.   We certainly don’t have all the answers in the MU and MACRA space but we spend a lot of time delving into how these regulations affect healthcare providers so please contact us with your questions.

To learn more about MU and how the modified rule changes affect ARIA users, please join a Webinar hosted by Malcolm Wright, VP of Product Management on February 4th at noon PST.

Register Now button

Recognizing our success

We are plea2015 Branham 300 logosed to announce that we have cracked the “Top 250 Canadian ICT Companies” on the Branham300 in only our 2nd year on the list — moving from # 277 in 2014 to #244 this year.

We are in good company, with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in Canada once again achieving year-over-year growth and setting a revenue record of $90.9 billion.

The Branham300 is a listing of Canada’s top public and private ICT companies, as ranked by revenues.

For more information about the Branham300:


Gearing up for HIMSS 2015!

HIMSS 2015 logo

Chicago welcomes the 2015 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, April 12-16, 2015, at McCormick Place. More than 38,000 healthcare industry professionals are expected to attend to discuss health IT issues and view innovative solutions designed to transform healthcare. We’re looking forward to showcasing EQUICARE CS, our complete oncology patient management solution, at this annual event.

Conference education sessions include pre-conference symposia on clinical and business analytics, HIEs, innovation, mobile health, nursing informatics, physicians’ IT and more. More than 300 peer-reviewed sessions, including workshops and roundtables, round out education offerings at HIMSS15.

George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, leads a strong roster of speakers that also includes Alex Gourlay, President, Walgreens; Bruce D. Broussard, President and CEO, Humana; and Jeremy Gutsche, Founder of and Author of “Exploiting Chaos.”

The HIMSS15 Exhibit Hall will feature the Connected Patient Gallery, Federal Health IT Solutions Pavilion, HIMSS First-Time Exhibitors Area, HIMSS Health IT Value Suite, HIMSS Interoperability Showcase™, Intelligent Health™ Pavilion (formerly known as Intelligent Hospital Pavilion), and three Knowledge Centers focused on clinical and business intelligence, disaster preparedness, and mobile health.

Drop by Booth #3376 for a demo of EQUICARE CS, our innovative patient care coordination solution. We look forward to seeing you!

Seeking Health Innovation Globally

HealthXL logo

Equicare was one of nine international companies selected to participate in the third HealthXL Global Gathering on February 27th in Dublin. HealthXL is a clearinghouse for innovation in healthcare. It aims to drive innovation in healthcare by catalysing collaborations between leading global brands and the most exciting technology companies to improve the lives of millions of people. An ambitious goal that we can get behind!

A collaboration of the leading minds in digital health, the HealthXL Global Gathering brought together more than 90 healthcare leaders from around the world seeking to find the next big thing in health tech. The focus was on discovering innovative solutions to major challenges in the areas of clinical trials, COPD, and heart failure.

Len Grenier, Equicare’s CEO, presented in the heart failure session, discussing how our robust patient care coordination platform can translate from our current focus on oncology patients to patients with other chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure (CHF).

Up to 2015 we were primarily working in oncology, with the vision to move into other chronic care management areas, such as heart failure, in the future. When HealthXL invited us to present at their Global Gathering, the opportunity worked as a catalyst for us to expand into that new market.

The opportunity to present in the Heart Failure Challenge gave us a platform to showcase our product in front of a world-class audience focused on that specific area. The panel was impressed with the potential of EQUICARE CSTM to be used in coordinating the care of CHF patients from screening to aftercare.

Panelists in the session were: Conor Hanley, PhD (Senior Vice President, Chronic Disease Management, ResMed), Chris Coburn (Vice President, Innovation, Partners HealthCare),and Dr. Robert Kelly (Head of Cardiology & Director of Innovation, Beacon Hospital). Dr. Vishal Gulati, Venture Partner, DFJ Esprit, moderated the panel.

We are excited to be part of the digital health revolution being driven by organizations such as HealthXL and relish our role in helping improve the lives of patients.