Tag Archives: Health IT

Recent Congressional Hearings

Congressional committees held hearings on a wide variety of on health policy issues this month before going on summer recess. Notable hearings include the following:  A Senate Finance Committee hearing on ways to improve and reform the Stark Law, particularly in light of the shift from Medicare fee-for-service to alternative payment models. Prior to the … Continue Reading

ONC Seeks Input on MACRA EHR Interoperability Requirements

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is seeking comments on how to achieve widespread exchange of health information through interoperable certified electronic health record (EHR) technology nationwide by the end of 2018, as is called for by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).  MACRA also mandates … Continue Reading

March Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Congressional committees have held hearings recently on various health policy issues, including: Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on CMS implementation of the Medicare physician fee schedule reform provisions included in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), financing and delivery of long-term care, and the public health response to the Zika virus. A Ways … Continue Reading

ONC Proposes Changes to Health IT Certification Program

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has proposed changes to the ONC Health IT Certification Program that are intended to “further enhance the safety, reliability, transparency, and accountability of certified health IT for users.”  Notably, the proposed rule would: Establish a process for ONC to directly review certified health … Continue Reading

Senate HELP Committee Clears Bipartisan Biomedical Innovation, Health IT Bills

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has approved several bipartisan health policy bills, including health information technology (HIT) legislation and bills aimed at spurring biomedical innovation to complement the “House 21st Century Cures” initiative. Specifically, on February 9, 2016, the Committee approved:… Continue Reading

CMS Requests Comments on HIT Certification and Quality Measure Reporting to Reduce Provider/HIT Developer Burden

On December 31, 2015, CMS published a request for information (RFI) seeking public comments on certification requirements for health information technology (HIT), including electronic health records (EHR) products used for reporting under certain CMS quality reporting programs. The RFI also invites feedback on how often CMS should require recertification, the number of clinical quality measures … Continue Reading

ONC Releases Final 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released its final 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory, which catalogs the “best available” interoperability standards and implementation specifications for industry use to fulfill specific clinical health information technology (IT) interoperability needs. The Advisory focuses only on clinical health IT systems’ interoperability; it does not … Continue Reading

CMS Call on IMPACT Act: Connecting Post-Acute Care across the Care Continuum (Feb 4)

On February 4, 2016, CMS is hosting a provider call on Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act requirements regarding the reporting of standardized patient assessment data by post-acute care (PAC) providers (skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care hospitals). During this call, CMS and the Office of the National … Continue Reading

ONC Corrects EHR Certification Criteria Final Rule

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has published a notice correcting errors and clarifying provisions of its October 16, 2015 rule that finalized the 2015 edition health information technology certification criteria and a new 2015 Edition Base Electronic Health Record (EHR) definition.… Continue Reading

CMS Adopts Changes to Medicare & Medicaid EHR Policies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a sweeping final rule with comment period that specifies the requirements that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments and avoid downward payment adjustments under the … Continue Reading

ONC Issues Final Health IT Interoperability Roadmap

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released its final “Roadmap” to promote the secure exchange and use of electronic health information. The document, “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0,” describes policy and technical actions needed to meet ONC’s “vision of … Continue Reading

ONC Releases Final Health IT Strategic Plan, Draft Interoperability Standards Advisory

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released its final Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2015-2020. The 50-page document details how the federal government intends to effectively use health information technology (IT) “to help the nation achieve high-quality care, lower costs, a healthy population, and engaged individuals.” The strategic … Continue Reading

Congressional Hearings to Focus on Health IT, Biosimilars, Medicaid Program Legislation

Two Congressional committees are holding hearings this week on health policy issues.  First, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has scheduled a September 16, 2015 hearing on “Achieving the Promise of Health Information Technology: Improving Care Through Patient Access to Their Records.”   The HELP Committee also will hold a September 17 hearing on “Biosimilar Implementation: … Continue Reading

Revised House 21st Century Cures Bill Released Ahead of House Vote

Later this week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider the H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act.  Ahead of the House vote, the House Rules Committee released a revised version of the bill with new funding offsets and other policy changes.  Notably changes in the newest version include: A provision excluding authorized generics … Continue Reading

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

A number of Congressional panels have held hearings this month on health policy issues, including the following: A House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Affordable Care Act implementation and the FY 2016 HHS budget request; A Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on “Health Information Exchange: A Path Towards Improving the … Continue Reading

HHS Solicits Comments on Use of Health Plan Identifier in E-Health Transactions

Today HHS published a request for public comments regarding the health plan identifier (HPID), including the requirements regarding health plan enumeration, and the requirement to use the HPID in electronic health care transactions. Specifically, HHS is seeking information regarding the following: The HPID enumeration structure outlined in the September 5, 2012 HPID final rule, including … Continue Reading

ONC Updated Electronic Health Information Privacy/Security Guidance

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released a revised Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. The guide is intended to help health care providers – especially those from smaller organizations – address federal health information privacy and security requirements in their practices. The new version updates … Continue Reading

HHS Publishes Proposed Stage 3 EHR Incentive Program, Health IT Certification Rules

On March 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its proposed rule on Stage 3 meaningful use criteria, which focus on the advanced use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology to promote improved outcomes for patients. The proposed rule would establish the requirements that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access … Continue Reading

OIG Issues 2015 Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations

The OIG has released its March 2015 “Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations,” which highlights the OIG’s top 25 recommendations for cost savings and/or quality improvements in HHS programs, along with other significant unimplemented recommendations. High-priority recommendations address the following areas, among others: Payment Policies and Practices: Expand the DRG window to include additional days prior to the inpatient … Continue Reading

March Congressional Health Policy Hearings

On March 10, 2015, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on “Continuing America’s Leadership in Medical Innovation for Patients,” featuring testimony from NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD.   On March 17, the HELP Committee has scheduled a hearing on “America’s Health IT Transformation: … Continue Reading

ONC Seeks Comments on Draft Health IT Interoperability Roadmap, Standards Advisory

On January 30, 2015, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a draft “Roadmap” to promote safe and secure exchange and use of electronic health information. The document “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0,” focuses on actions intended to reach the … Continue Reading
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