Three groups have responded to calls from Republican senators to revamp the meaningful use program. The HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association defends the program, while the American Hospital Association says the initiative should be examined closely. The Healthcare Innovation Council says the program should be overhauled or suspended. Health Data Management, Healthcare IT News.
A coalition of consumer groups -- led by the Campaign for Better Care and the Consumer Partnership for eHealth -- has sent a letter arguing that delaying or postponing the meaningful use program would stifle innovation, hinder interoperability and limit cost savings. The letter comes in response to a call by six GOP senators to revamp the incentive program. FierceEMR, EHR Intelligence.
The Senate has voted to confirm Marilyn Tavenner -- former Virginia health secretary -- as CMS administrator. The vote marks CMS' first permanent chief since 2006. As CMS administrator, Tavenner is responsible for overseeing the allocation of an estimated $25 billion in federal health IT incentive payments and works on health IT policy issues. Reuters et al.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT recently released guidance detailing how health IT service providers can help clinicians meet transition of care measures under Stage 2 of the meaningful use program. Clinical Innovation & Technology, Health Data Management.
A new data brief from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT outlines how regional extension centers have helped physician assistants and nurse practitioners adopt electronic health record systems and participate in the meaningful use incentive program. FierceEMR.
In a letter to six Republican senators, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives defended the efficacy of the meaningful use program and advocated for a one-year extension of Stage 2 of the program. CHIME said that the extension would allow providers to optimize their electronic health record systems and realize the benefits of stages 1 and 2. Healthcare IT News et al.
The latest data from CMS show that nearly half of all eligible health care professionals have received electronic health record incentive payments through the meaningful use program. According to CMS, the program to date has distributed a total of $5.2 billion in incentive payments to eligible health care professionals and nearly $8.5 billion to eligible hospitals. Modern Healthcare.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists recently sent a letter asking federal officials to continue the meaningful use hardship exemption for anesthesiologists and allow for certain additional program exemptions. EHR Intelligence, Becker's ASC Review.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has revoked certifications for two EHRMagic electronic health record systems under the meaningful use program. An ONC official said no health care providers had attested to meaningful use using the EHRMagic products but declined to say what providers should do if their EHR systems are retroactively decertified. Modern Healthcare et al.
A fact sheet from CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT outlines HITECH Act-related progress, including that roughly 85% of eligible hospitals and 73% of eligible professionals are participating in the meaningful use program. EHR Intelligence, Becker's Hospital Review.
A new case study from the Commonwealth Fund finds that the Colorado Beacon Consortium helped health care providers improve care through the use of health IT. The case study also outlines the challenges faced by the consortium. Government Health IT, EHR Intelligence.
Robert Anthony -- deputy director of CMS' Health IT Initiatives Group -- recently announced that CMS intends to audit about 5% of all participants in the meaningful use program through a combination of approximately the same amount of prepayment and post-payment audits. Modern Healthcare.
Yesterday, National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari offered more details on his office's plan to impose certification fees on electronic health record vendors. Mostashari said the fee would ensure stable funding for EHR certification efforts. Government Health IT.
Six Republican senators have released a white paper outlining their concerns about current federal health IT policy and calling for an overhaul of the meaningful use program. In an accompanying letter, the lawmakers asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to address the concerns cited in the white paper and to provide additional information about the meaningful use program. FierceEMR et al.
In a letter to CMS, the American Hospital Association highlighted its concerns about reporting clinical quality measures for the meaningful use program and other initiatives. AHA urged CMS to consider ways to streamline reporting requirements. EHR Intelligence, AHA News.