This year, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT will focus on efforts enabling health care providers to perform complex information exchanges, Government Health IT reports.
National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal said ONC is considering how to facilitate a stronger, more secure foundation for interoperability in Stage 2 of the meaningful use program.
Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid.
Setting Stage 2
At a recent meeting of the Health IT Standards Committee, Blumenthal said the steps the office needs to take for Stage 2 interoperability issues center on several factors, including:
- Governance of exchanges;
- Privacy and security protections; and
- Standards and certification criteria.
ONC also will work on EHR usability issues, such as developing standards that vendors could use to be more transparent to customers (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 1/13).
Accepting Public Comment
Meanwhile, the Health IT Policy Committee has officially posted a request for public comment on proposed meaningful use recommendations for Stage 2. The comment period starts next week and concludes Feb. 25 (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 1/13).