HHS gearing up for second round of 'meaningful use' objectives Read more: HHS gearing up for second round of 'meaningful use' objectives PDF Print E-mail
Written by Source: Fiercegovernmentit.com   
Tuesday, 18 January 2011 14:44

The Health and Humans Services Department released Jan. 11 a set of possible measures that could be incorporated into the next two stages of "meaningful use" objectives for electronic health records.

The possible measures--which come from the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, a federal advisory group--are preliminary but nonetheless meant in part to give the health IT industry a head start on developing new EHR functionalities, the committee says in a document (.pdf) that's currently out for comment.

Medical care providers can draw on up to $27.4 billion in incentives to adopt EHRs, provided they use them in a way HHS says is meaningful. Medicare payments to providers will start to drop in 2015 unless they do so.

The department released July 13 a set of rules for the first of three stages of meaningful use definition, rules that included measures such as recording as structured data the active medication list of more than 80 percent of patients. The rules included a mandatory "core set" of objectives and a "menu set" from which providers had to select a certain number for implementation.

Of the 37 possible new measures, only nine are entirely new. The other 28 mostly involve performing a stage one objective to a greater degree--such as offering an electronic copy of discharge instructions to 80 percent of patients rather than 50 percent--or a shift of an optional menu set objective to a mandatory core set objective.

Among the new proposed stage two measures is an objective that would require 80 percent of patients to have the ability to download from a web portal within 36 hours of a hospital inpatient discharge information about the encounter in a human-readable and structural form.

Another stage two proposal is to have an "online secure patient messaging" system in use with physician practices. Physician practices generally today avoid electronic messaging such as email due to encryption requirements for protected health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The proposed measures are grouped into five categories; click for the "Improving Quality, Safety and Efficiency & Reducing Health Disparities" measures; the "Engage Patients and Families in Their Care" measures; the "Improve Care Coordination" measures; the "Improve Population and Public Health" measures; and the "Ensure Adequate Privacy and Security Protections for Personal Health Information" measures (there's actually only one of those). Or click for all categories together.

For more:
- download the HIT Policy Committee request for comment (.pdf)
- download the Jan. 11 notice in the Federal Register
- go to the HIT Policy Committee homepage

Source: www.fiercegovernmentit.com
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 14:52

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