AOAMI Archived News

Web Marketing 101: Tools for busy DOs who don't 'like' technology

Physicians are often quick to adopt the latest tools when it comes to treating patients, but they don't always see a need to update technology in other areas of practice management, such as marketing.

Today's physicians can't afford to ignore the potential impact of Web and social media engagement on their business, said Amanda Kanaan, the president of WhiteCoat Designs, a medical marketing agency that caters to physicians. Eighty percent of Internet users have searched online for health information, according to 2011 Pew Internet research. Web-shy physicians are missing chances to gain new patients, she said.

In the AOAMI session, Marketing Your Practice on the Web, at OMED2012, Kanaan gave tips to physicians on creating or revamping a website, driving traffic to it and using social media.

View the complete article on The DO »

Telemedicine may be the next great medical frontier, DO says

In 2012, the list of industries radically transformed by technology is exhaustive. There's shipping, retail, printing and journalism. Is health care delivery next? Telemedicine is poised to rapidly change the direction of this field, said Darren Sommer, DO, MPH, in the AOAMI session, Telemedicine Grows Up, at OMED on October 9th.

View the complete article on The DO »

Paul Martin, DO, an osteopathic physician from Dayton, OH shares his views on what to expect when implementing an EHR and the role of health IT in the patient-centered medical home and accountable care. The interview is made available by Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Healthcare.

Buy-in, culture of change keys to achieving 'meaningful use' certification

With federal incentive programs in place for physicians who make "meaningful use" of electronic health records, more and more DOs are implementing or upgrading EHR systems, or are thinking about doing so, to meet certification requirements.

View the complete article on The DO »

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Final Rule Released – Reporting Period Reduced

CMS recently released the Final Rule for Meaningful Use Stage 2. With regard to timing most of the Stage 2 Rule is what we expected and planned upon, such as the delay of Stage 2 until 2014. However, there was one element of the final rule that pleasantly surprised even us, and should do the same for our MediTouch users.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Timeline Delay

The Final Rule for Meaningful Use Stage 2 states that there will be a delay in the implementation of the onset of Stage 2 criteria until 2014. According to CMS, "In the Stage 1 final rule, we established that any provider who first attested to Stage 1 criteria in 2011 would begin using Stage 2 criteria in 2013. This final rule delays the onset of those Stage 2 criteria until 2014, which we believe provides the needed time for vendors to develop CEHRT." As we've previously posited, based on CMS' proposed Meaningful Use Stage 2 Rule and public comments, 2013 was simply an unrealistic goal given the lack of Stage 1 progress at that time and the sheer number of programs already set to be implemented in 2013. CMS heeded the public's comments and their own proposal, so Meaningful Use Stage 2 will be delayed until 2014 as expected.

The pleasant surprise to come out of CMS' Meaningful Use Stage 2 Final Rule is that doctors will only be required to attest for 3 months of Meaningful Use for the first year of Stage 2, rather than the expected year-long attestation process. The Final Rule of Meaningful Use Stage 2 states:

"We are also introducing a special 3-month EHR reporting period, rather than a full year of reporting for providers attesting to either Stage 1 of Stage 2 in 2014 in order to allow time for providers to implement newly certified CEHRT. In future years, providers who are not in their initial year of demonstrating meaningful use must meet criteria for 12-month reporting periods. The 3-month reporting period allows providers flexibility in their first year of meeting Stage 2 without warranting any delay for Stage 3. This policy is consistent with CMS' commitment to ensure that Stage 3 occurs on schedule (implemented 2016)."

The 3 month attestation window, affords providers the ability to acclimate themselves to their EHR/EMR platform, learn the ropes, and get used to charting and conducting their daily routine through their new, computerized system, prior to being required to attest to Meaningful Use. The shortened attestation period also means that there has never been a better time to adopt an EHR/EMR system. After 2014, the year-long Meaningful Use attestation period becomes mandatory, in anticipation of Meaningful Use Stage 3.

Be Prepared for Meaningful Use Stage 2 with MediTouch EHR®

If you've been waiting for the Meaningful Use Stage 2 final Rule, or simply procrastinating, there is no better time to adopt the all-in-one MediTouch EHR. HealthFusion® has even created a Meaningful Use Fast Track program to help providers expedite MediTouch EHR implementation and earn their full Meaningful Use incentive payment, but time is running out! Contact HealthFusion today, and experience the multitude of MediTouch features for yourself, during a free, personal demonstration with one of our award-winning MediTouch representatives, and get on the fast track to Meaningful Use.

"Health IT For You" Video

The ONC is encouraging health care providers to share this newly released animated video that explains how greater adoption of health IT is moving the health care system into the 21st century.


Research and Recommendations for Improving e-Prescribing in Ohio

The Ohio Health Information Partnership convened the e-Prescribe Task Force in December, 2010. The purpose was to create a multi-disciplinary group to study issues of e-Prescribing in the State of Ohio. Initially, the group met to discuss current barriers to e-Prescribing and how to accelerate its adoption in Ohio.

The e-Prescribe Task Force consisted of representatives from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBOP), the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA), the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), the Ohio Osteopathic Association (OOA), the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA), Surescripts, Express Scripts, Pfizer, individual and hospital pharmacists, hospital CIOs, the CIO of Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians, other physician representatives, a representative from an Ohio school of pharmacy and a representative from AARP. As the project expanded, other members joined, such as HealthBridge, the Cincinnati-based HIE and Regional Extension Center and other professional licensing boards, all focused on how the process of e-Prescribing of controlled substances could be encouraged.

For its work, the task force defined e-Prescribing (e-Rx) as the computer-based electronic generation, transmission and filling of a medical prescription. This means that an e-prescription is a prescription transmitted electronically directly to a pharmacy, taking the place of hand-written and faxed prescriptions. Electronic prescriptions travel through a private, secure, and closed network from a healthcare provider's computer to the pharmacy's computer.

This white paper is the product of a year's work of analyzing the acceptance of e-Prescribing in Ohio from both the pharmacist's and the physician's perspective.

Recouping EMR startup fees through meaningful use
from CliniSync

One health record to go please: How electronic health records are improving patient care
from CliniSync

Emphasizing the Patient in a Patient-Centered Medical Home

Internal medicine specialist Christopher Beal, DO, is a patient engagement champion. He travels around the country, advocating the use of patient engagement portals and talking with audiences about how it's a vital part of a provider's patient-centered medical home(PCMH).

Those who have heard Beal talk about patient engagement will have likely heard about his success rate, and how in just under eight weeks, 28 percent of his patient population was actively using the patient portal he implemented from Kryptiq. They may also hear about how his patient phone calls have been reduced by 30 percent since the portal and how it's freed up more time to actively care for patients. Read the complete article from Healthcare Informatics »

Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs

Proposed Rule for Stage 2 Meaningful Use Requirements »

Doctors slow to engage patients with IT

A new study by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions indicates physicians are not using IT broadly to engage patients. No more than 20 percent of doctors are providing online scheduling or test results for their patients and just 6 percent are using social media to communicate with them, according to Deloitte. The report, "Physician Perspectives on Health Information Technology," shows that measured against the IT goals and deadlines prescribed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, only 25 percent of physicians are "on target" to meet the meaningful use incentives. MORE

New AOA Resource To Assist Physicians In EMR Vendor Contracting

A new annotated online resource, Negotiating EMR Contracts, is available for osteopathic physicians to assist them in understanding and negotiating an HIT-EMR contract. This resource is timely as we approach 2012, the last year to receive the greatest share of the CMS EMR Medicare incentive. Staff worked closely with an attorney who has extensive expertise in healthcare regulation. The article interprets and translates the EMR license agreement 'legalize' into understandable layman language and flags the terms and conditions that physicians should pay close attention to. Also included is a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

CMS Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs Milestone Timeline

Eligible Professional (EP) Health Information Technology (HIT) Planner

CMS' Office of E-Health Standards and Services Announces 90-Day Period of Enforcement Discretion for Compliance with New HIPAA Transaction Standards

Electronic Submission of Medical Documentation (esMD) Pilot Project

CMS is working to lessen the burden on physicians by giving them a new way to submit medical documentation- through their Electronic Submission of Medical Documentation (esMD) Pilot Project in response to claims review requests.

CMS employs claim review contractors to find improper payments by selecting a small sample of claims, requesting the necessary medical documentation from the provider, and reviewing claims against the documentation provided to determine if the provider complied with Medicare program rules. This is a time-consuming and cumbersome task for both reviewers and providers. Most medical documentation is currently received by mail or fax.

Under the esMD Pilot Project, physicians that want to electronically submit documentation must either build their own gateway or procure gateway services from a Health Information Handler (HIH).  Examples of HIHs include: a health information exchange (HIE), a Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO), an E HR Vendor, a Claim Clearinghouse, or a Health Internet Service Provider (HISP). Health Information Handlers that are participating in this program are required to attend bi-weekly calls with CMS, build a gateway that is compatible with the CONNECT portal, test their system with the CMS gateway contractor, and recruit providers to join this project. CMS anticipates that many providers will obtain services for their own gateway by entering into an agreement with a HIH.

The esMD program is voluntary.  For providers that wish to send information electronically, they must access a CONNECT compatible gateway. The esMD project will allow for submission of files in a PDF format. Providers who have paper records and wish to participate in the esMD program may do so as long as there is a way to scan paper records into a PDF file.

Note: The Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) is working with CMS on this project. The formal launch of the first phase of the project will occur at the Standards and Interoperability Framework Face to Face Meeting on October 18.  It is anticipated that Phase 2 of the esMD project will launch in October 2012. During the second phase, CMS claim reviewers will electronically send documentation requests to providers when their claims are selected for review.    

Additional information is at

Dr. Wenner's Workflow Clinic


Early registration for AOAMI members only! Open registration will begin October 1st.

  • Do you love to practice medicine but hate to go to work?
  • Do you leave the office at 5PM with records done?
  • Did you install your EHR, but find it hard to use at the point of care?
  • Has your productivity dropped since you have had an EHR?
  • Are you ready to relieve your pain with Office Workflow re-engineering?

Dr. Wenner's Elixir - will make you feel better in the morning!

Join this Special AOAMI CME Session Wednesday, November 2, 2011 Orange County Convention Center Room 315B 9:00 am - Noon

This limited registration CME session will allow the first 20 registrants to bring their information technology problems to the floor of OMED2011. Each attendee will interact with the moderator, Dr. Allen Wenner, called by the American Family Physician, "King of EHR Advice." Completion of the small reading list prior to attendance is strongly encouraged.

This is an interactive session to help you solve problems in your office. You will be asked to photograph, diagram, or videotape your workflow in your office. You will present information flow as well as show the participants how you function throughout your day. Your workflow will be reviewed and analyzed by the other participants and Dr. Wenner.

Small practices will have the opportunity at OMED2011 to have an introduction to workflow re-engineering that would typically cost their practice tens of thousands of dollars, all for FREE! Participants from last year's session found this session the most valuable of the conference.

After this session, participants will have an idea how to diagram their workflow, how to look at their information processes with their staff, and how to evaluate and correct bottlenecks in their office workflow. They will have a vision of the future of medicine that will result in higher productivity with better patient and doctor satisfaction.

Suggested Reading:

To register, please email us with your AOA # and best way to contact you.

Dr. Wenner will contact you directly to help you prepare!

New CMS Medicare Attestation Tools

  1. CMS Medicare Attestation User Guide
  2. CMS Medicare Attestation Q&A

A Special Invitation from the AOA's Council of Interns and Residents

On behalf of the AOA's Council of Interns and Residents (CIR), I would like to invite your specialty college and your resident representatives to join us at the CIR Leadership Summit for all DOs in postdoctoral training programs. The Leadership Summit will be Sunday, Oct. 30 from 7:30 am - 12:00 pm in the Orlando Convention Center. The CIR serves as the representative body and advocate for all osteopathic interns, residents and fellows in AOA, ACGME and military postdoctoral training programs. The mission of the CIR is to provide resources for all DOs in postdoctoral training programs, promote advocacy in postdoctoral education policy, and act as a conduit for communication and collaboration for postdoctoral trainees from all over the country. The Leadership Summit will feature presentations and tools for postdoctoral trainees to develop their careers and leadership skills. An agenda will be available shortly.

Additionally, please join us at the SOMA Residency Fair on the OMED Exhibition Hall floor from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, also on October 30. This is a great opportunity to speak with osteopathic medical students about your unique specialty and to highlight specific programs or your organization. You may contact Gregg Lapin about purchasing booth space at the SOMA Residency Fair ( or 312-202-8019) or, if you are unable to attend but would like to provide information about your specialty at the CIR's booth, please let me know.

We hope that you will send representatives to participate in the CIR Leadership Summit and that you will participate in the residency fair. We're looking forward to seeing you in Orlando! Please feel free to contact either myself or Kristine O'Sullivan ( or 312-202-8147) if you have any questions.


Sonbol Shahid-Salles, DO, MPH
PGY-2, Emergency Medicine
Genesys Regional Medical Center
AOA Council of Interns and Residents, Affiliate Liaison, 2011-2012
MOA Intern & Resident Committee, Chair, 2011-2012
MOA Board of Trustees, Resident Board Member, 2011-2012

AHRQ Releases New Workflow Toolkit for Small and Medium Sized Practices

A new toolkit is available from AHRQ to help small and medium sized practices analyze workflow and redesign before, during, and after implementing health IT. "Workflow Assessment for Health IT" includes examples of workflow analysis and redesign and the experiences of other practices in implementing health IT. A copy of the toolkit is available at

The Expanding Use of Medical E-Records

Representatives from the Ohio Health Information Partnership and Mat Kindall from the ONC all were featured on," All Sides With Ann Fisher," on WOSU Radio. OHIP representatives included Interim CEO Dan Paoletti and Gregg Alexander, DO, a member of the OHIP Board who was the first physician in Ohio to get Medicaid incentive dollars for EHR. Click here to listen.

Patients social media use raises practical issues for doctors

Ethical concerns come into play when physicians become part of health conversations on Facebook and other sites. Full story »

EHR Incentive Program Registration: What You Need to Know

The American Osteopathic Association has created a PowerPoint presentation that lists the steps required to enroll in the EHR Incentive Program. Please click here to download your copy.

MO HIT Assistance Center's First "EHR Road Show" Gets Ready to Roll

Be on the lookout in your community for the Missouri Health Information Technology (MO HIT) Assistance Center's "EHR Road Show." March 14-16, we're bringing our free, two-hour educational seminars on the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) to Rolla, Poplar Bluff, West Plains, and Lebanon, Missouri. These seminars will highlight the special support and incentive programs that are making the transition to electronic health records easier for health care professionals. Other Missouri health care professionals have jumped on this unique opportunity to enhance, or even introduce an EHR to their health care operation; this could be the break you needed. Click here for more info.

eRx 101: Gearing Up For the 2011 Medicare Incentives -
learn how to succeed and avoid the penalty

This free webinar was broadcast live on Wed, Jan. 19, 2011. You can earn 1 hour of AOA CME Category 1-B credit for listening to the webinar and taking the post-test. Click here to view.

CMS and ONC have established an interactive map for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. This information will be updated on a monthly basis.

What do Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine Need from an EHR?

Guest: Dr. Thomas Zimmerman - Director, Osteopathic Medical Education, Program Director, Osteopathic Family Medicine Residency, South Nassau Communities Hospital.

Total time: 6:58

Listen here.

HIT Webinar Slides Available

David Blumenthal, MD, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (HIT), discussed the recently released "meaningful use" rule and how physicians can qualify for up to $44,000 under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs. This webinar also featured presentations by Elizabeth Holland from CMS on details of the incentive programs under Medicare and Medicaid, and Carol Bean from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC) on the certification process and criteria for HIT systems. View the presentations.

ONC Issues Final Rule for EHR Technology Temporary Certification Program

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a final rule to establish a temporary certification program for electronic health record (EHR) technology. The program establishes processes that organizations will need to follow in order to be authorized by the National Coordinator to test and certify EHR technology. Use of "certified EHR technology" is a core requirement for providers who seek to qualify to receive incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provisions authorized in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Visit the HHS site for certification info.

PHR Guides Available to Consumers and Physicians

The AOAMI has collaborated with 3 other health industry associations to introduce reference guides for personal health records (PHR) for consumers and clinicians. Both versions of the Personal Health Record Quick Reference Guide cover the purpose, benefits and privacy/access issues of PHRs, along with frequently asked questions. Visit the AOAMI's PHR Center to download the guides and more information.