The American Health Information Community on Tuesday accepted in principle a pay-for-performance recommendation from its Electronic Health Records Workgroup that called for federal contracts with health plans and insurers to include provisions to reward physicians for quality performance, including the use of certified electronic health records, Government Health IT reports.
The HHS advisory group sent the recommendation back to the work group to refine the wording and is expected at its June 12 meeting to approve the recommendation.
AHIC rejected another recommendation from the work group to urge Medicare to increase payments to physicians who use EHRs. The work group will revise the recommendation and could resubmit it after determining whether CMS can set up a differential reimbursement scheme and how "using EHRs" should be defined, Government Health IT reports.
Justine Handelman, director of federal relations for the BlueCross and BlueShield Association, questioned how CMS could track EHR use because some physicians have EHR systems but do not use them often or turn off certain features.
AHIC accepted a recommendation from the work group for HHS to continue to support and improve DOQ-IT, a no-cost, online EHR adoption training program geared toward small medical practices. In addition the advisory group accepted a recommendation that HHS work to ensure that certified EHRs mitigate malpractice risk and encourage payers to reduce malpractice premiums for physicians using certified EHRs.
National Coordinator for Health IT Robert Kolodner at the meeting announced that his office has awarded contracts to develop competing business models for a privatized AHIC to:
- Avalere Health; and
- Booz Allen (Ferris, Government Health IT, 4/24).