Blog Archives

Meaningful use program Stage 3 inches nearer to approval

The draft regulatory language of Stage 3 of the meaningful use program, scheduled to start in 2017, has been submitted for review to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget. The rules, submitted

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New report: EHRs not immune to technical, human error; rigorous monitoring essential

A report just published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association asserts that even if EHRs were not still relatively new, they are not exempt from the glitches all software can be prone to.  Researchers evaluated data from

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Rural providers cope with HIT staffing deficits

If compliance with ONC regulations is challenging for healthcare providers in urban areas, with high concentrations of IT professionals, it is especially challenging for rural providers where IT resources in the form of human capital are scarce.  The federal government’s

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EHR vendor loses ONC certification for two of its records systems

This week health care organizations were startled and not a little concerned to learn of the ONC’s unprecedented action with regards to a California health software company.  The agency is decertifying electronic health records systems which initially met ONC requirements for

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Mostashari urges HIT vendors to conduct themselves ethically

Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, believes most HIT vendors operate in good faith.  At a recent meeting, however, Mostashari stated that he will be testing organized peer pressure as a means of bringing more ethically problematic vendors into line,

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HHS Inspector General: Medicare EHR incentive program lacks adequate safeguards against error and fraud

The HHS Inspector General this week reported the results of its recent investigation to “verify the accuracy of professionals’ and hospitals’ self-reported meaningful-use information, as well as eligibility and payment amounts.”   The investigation reviewed payments issued from May through December

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Public-private group, eHealth Exchange, to oversee development of health info network

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is passing management of the Nationwide Health Information Network to a coalition of public and private health care organizations. Via Modern Healthcare: Following last month’s announcement that “now is not

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Tagging technique keeps more sensitive portions of an EHR more private

State and federal privacy laws rigorously restrict sharing of mental health and other highly sensitive patient records.  A technique called “data tagging” may be key in facilitating health care providers’ compliance with these requirements. Via Modern Healthcare: Using off-the-shelf content

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ONC: no caps on per-provider EHR incentive payments

National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari has announced there is no cap on how much individual providers may receive in meaningful use incentive payouts, as long as they meet the requirements for the EHR incentive payments program.  According to

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ONC announces five organizations to serve as EHR certifiers

In preparation for the launching of ONC’s permanent EHR system testing and certification program, part of the EHR incentive payment initiative, ONC has authorized five groups as permanent EHR certifiers. Via Modern Healthcare: Even though the new regime for testing

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Breaking: CMS issues final rule on Stage 2 of Meaningful Use

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final requirements for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, which health care providers must meet in order to qualify for incentives during this stage of the program, and criteria that electronic health records

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HHS issues proposed rules on Stage 2 of Meaningful Use

On February 24, 2012, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) issued proposed rules regarding Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. The proposed rules include the criteria for demonstrating Stage 2 Meaningful Use,

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Audit criticizes OCR and ONC over data privacy efforts

HHS’s own Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a scathing report regarding pervasive breaches in privacy and security of patient data. OIG specifically called out the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), charged with enforcement of HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules,

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Medicare EHR incentives attestation to begin on April 18, 2011

CMS announced that the online Attestation System for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will launch on April 18, 2011. Eligible professionals and eligible hospitals will be able to use this online portal to self-attest to meeting the Meaningful Use criteria.

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Blumenthal to leave ONC this spring

Dr. David Blumenthal, the head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), announced yesterday in a letter to his staff that he’s leaving the ONC and returning to his position at Harvard University. According to Dr.

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CCHIT certifies 19 complete EHRs and 14 EHR modules

On October 1, 2010, CCHIT announced certifications of 19 “complete” EHR products, including, for example, Epic products for both hospitals and eligible professionals, and Allscripts and GE Centricity products for eligible professionals. CCHIT also certified 14 “module” EHR products, from

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CCHIT and Drummond picked as ONC-ATCBs

Via HHS Press Release: The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), Chicago, Ill. and the Drummond Group Inc. (DGI), Austin, Texas, were named today by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as the first technology

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CCHIT to launch certification process on September 20, 2010

According to Karen Bell, MD, chair of the Certification Commission on Health Information Technology (CCHIT), her organization will begin accepting applications for HHS certification as early as September 20, 2010.  Via Healthcare IT News: CCHIT is authorized to offer HHS certification for

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Advisory panel submits recommendations to HIT Policy Committee regarding health data exchanges

On August 19, 2010, the “tiger team” advisory panel submitted a letter to the HIT Policy Committee, established pursuant to the HITECH Act, proposing new safeguards for personally identifiable information on health information exchanges.  Via Bloomberg Business Week:       The recommendations

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CMS issues final rules on Meaningful Use

On July 13, 2010, CMS issued the final rule defining “meaningful use” and establishing the parameters and requirements for eligible professionals, hospitals and other providers to receive incentive payments provided under the HITECH Act for widespread adoption of electronic health records.  According

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HHS issues NPRM on HIPAA Privacy, Security and Enforcement Rules

On July 7, 2010, HHS issued a notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) regarding the changes to the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Enforcement Rules, as provided in the HITECH Act, in order “to strengthen the privacy and security protections for health information and to

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Breaking: ONC releases final rule on temporary EHR certification

On June 18, 2010, the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT issued a final rule, 45 CFR Part 170, establishing a temporary EHR certification program for the purposes of testing and certifying health information technology.       The National Coordinator will

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ONC approves Maryland’s HIT plan

On June 7, 2010, Maryland’s Lt. Governor Anthony Brownannounced that the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT approved Maryland’s State Health IT plan, allowing the state to move forward to implement a functional health information exchange (HIE).  According to the Washington

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CHIME comments on EHR certification NPRM

In a letter to Dr. David Blumenthal, the College of Healthcare Information Executives (CHIME), an organization which represents1,400 healthcare chief information officers, offered some criticism of ONC’s recent notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the EHR certification program.  While CHIME expressed general

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In the news: Senators request easing of meaningful use requirements; HHS releases over $267M for RECs and more

A group of 37 U.S. Senators sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expressing concern regarding the current definition of meaningful use.  The senators urged the Secretary to “allow providers to ‘temporarily defer a limited set of IT goals’ without

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ONC publishes white paper on consent options

The Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) published on its web site a white paper analyzing the policies behind obtaining consent for the purposes of electronic health information exchange.  The paper examined the concept of patient control of their health

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Pritts named first ONC Chief Privacy Officer

Joy Pritts, a researcher and faculty member at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, was named as the first Chief Privacy Officer for the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT.  This position was created pursuant to a provision in ARRA,

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ONC names 17 members of the privacy and security workgroup

The Office of National Coordinator for Health IT named 17 members of the newly formed privacy and security workgroup of the HIT Policy Committee.  According to Government Health IT: The work group will be co-chaired by Deven McGraw, director of the

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Regional Extension Program: Important Updates and Links from HHS

Via HHS e-mail update: The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is pleased to announce the availability of materials that are of immediate interest and use to stakeholders and potential applicants for the Health Information Technology Extension

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HIT Policy Committee workgroup presents preliminary definition for Meaningful Use

On June 16, 2009, the Workgroup on Meaningful Use presented its findings to the HIT Policy Committee.  The findings include two parts:  the preamble and the matrix.   The matrix consists of goals to be achieved by 2011, 2013, and 2015, and

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HIT Policy Committee Reveals “Meaningful Use” Proposal

Via Healthcare-Informatics: By 2011, at least 10 percent of all orders processed in a hospital must be entered through CPOE to qualify that institution for CMS incentives under the HITECH Act, according to a proposed matrix of meaningful use released

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