The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has pushed to Jan. 19 its deadline for public comment on a President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report that suggests changes to the way health information is exchanged, Health Data Management reports.
Specifically, ONC is seeking input on how a rapid change in health information exchange policies could affect Stage 2 criteria of the meaningful use program. Through the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
The PCAST report recommended the development and use of a "universal exchange language" to promote health data exchange and increase the privacy and security of information. The language would separate data into units that have a "metadata tag" with directions for how to use the data (Goedert, Health Data Management, 1/14).