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  • WEDI Report Sees More Patient Control in Health Care's Future

    The influential Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) has released what it calls a new "roadmap" for the future of health care, and a high level of consumer control is one of the primary destinations.

    The newest WEDI report (.pdf) comes 20 years after its initial examination of the use of technology in health care. The 1993 report played an influential role in the development of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well as the transition to standardized transaction formats in payment.

    The newest report focuses on 4 major areas: patient engagement, payment models, data harmonization and exchange, and "innovative encounter models." Although approaches and priorities differ in each area, the WEDI report emphasizes the need for greater coordination of technologies, both to make information-sharing more efficient and to provide consumers with a high degree of control over their own care and information.

    "Health IT is not the cure in and of itself but, when adequately deployed, can serve as a powerful change agent," the report states. "The rise of mobile and other technologies creates many opportunities for the healthcare industry to move forward together to solve many of the challenges that have plagued the American healthcare system."

    APTA Analyzes the 2014 Fee Schedule, Outpatient Prospective Payment System

    APTA members now have access to detailed information on how the 2014 Medicare physician fee schedule and the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) will affect physical therapist practice. APTA staff has prepared analyses of the final rules that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on November 27.

    APTA's fee schedule summary (.pdf) covers the new schedule's impact on payment, including the impact of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) and therapy cap. The summary also includes an analysis of the proposed changes to the physician quality reporting system (PQRS).

    The OPPS highlights (.pdf) document also addresses payment changes and provides analyses of the final Ambulatory Payment Classifications (APCs) as well as new rules around supervision of outpatient therapeutic services in critical access hospitals (CAHs).

    Both resources are free to APTA members, and have been added to the physician fee schedule and Medicare in hospital settings information on the APTA website.