CISCO selling Linksys, Intel leaving PC biz!

Belkin announced last week that it is buying the home networking business of Cisco, including the Linksys router brand. Cisco is moving away from from the consumer and small business space. We have been proponents of Linksys equipment and are hoping that Belkin will have better luck with Linksys than Cisco http://blogs.cisco.com/news/belkin-announces-intent-to-acquire-linksys/ http://finance.yahoo.com/news/belkin-buy-linksys-router-maker-cisco-223526995–finance.html Also, last week Intel was in the news with the announcement that it will exit the desktop motherboard business to focus on all-in-ones, NUCs and tablets http://www.zdnet.com/intel-to-leave-desktop-motherboard-business-by-2016-7000010269/ A clear indication of our rapidly changing IT world! What’s next?    
Read More

Medicare announces 106 ACOs in Jan, one in Nevada

Medicare announced 106 new ACO contracts last week, that offer financial incentives to improve quality of care. According to the CMS press release at least half of all ACOs are physician-led organizations. Accountable care, was among a few policies in health reform law that seek to more closely tie payment to performance.  ACOs must meet quality standards and CMS has established 33 quality measures on things like care coordination and appropriate use of preventive health services.  CMS provides two incentive options under the shared savings program and some critics contend that the incentives aren’t adequate. CMS expects the ACO program
Read More

2013 – top health industry issues

PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) today published its annual list of the Top Health Industry Issues for 2013. With the Health Industry accounting for almost 20% of the US economy, the transformations occuring this year and these issues could be critical. PWC’s article and list linked below highlights issues such as: Nearly 30 million newly insured Americans with the Affordable Healthcare Act going into effect 1/1/14 Medical Equipment/Device Tax of 2.3 percent affecting the $380 billion industry Customer revolution and importance of customer ratings Employer’s rethinking benefits PWC’s top ten – http://www.pwc.com/us/en/press-releases/2013/pwcs-health-research-institute-identifies-the-top-ten.jhtml
Read More

$1.2 billion in EHR incentives in December

According to CMS estimates $1.2 billion in payments were made in December as EHR incentive payments to hospitals, physicians and other professionals. According to CMS this is the single largest monthly payment by a huge amount. http://www.govhealthit.com/news/medicare-medicaid-ehr-payments-break-10b-barrier-december
Read More

Fiscal Cliff Act and Tax Code 179

With the recently passed American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (also known as the Fiscal Cliff Act), there have been significant changes to Tax Code 179. 1) 2012 Tax Code 179 cap amount was $139,000. It has been raised retroactively to $500,000 This means that when business file their tax returns for 2012, they can now write off up to $500,00 (plus 50% bonus depreciation above $500,000) in equipment/software purchases rather than being limited to $139,000. 2) 2013 Tax Code 179 cap amount is $500,000 with a bonus depreciation of 50% for every dollar spent up to $2,000,000. This means
Read More

Medicare Paycuts averted

President Obama Signs the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012: New Law Includes Physician Update Fix through December 2013 On Wednesday, January 2, 2013, President Obama signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. This new law prevents a scheduled payment cut for physicians and other practitioners who treat Medicare patients from taking effect on January 1, 2013. The new law provides for a zero percent update for such services through December 31, 2013. This avoided a 26.5% reduction in Medicare reimbursements. This is a pretty big deal! By saving reimbursement dollars for physicians, there will be some reductions
Read More