Yesterday, health experts told members of the Senate Finance Committee health care data transparency efforts alone will not control rising health care costs. At the hearing, journalist Steve Brill said that even when patients are provided with pricing data, most of them are unable to take steps to avoid high costs. Kaiser Health News' "Capsules," MedCity News.
The American Medical Association and 21 other health care provider groups are backing a House bill that would eliminate reimbursement penalties for certain physicians who are unable to fully participate in the Medicare portion of the meaningful use program. American Medical News.
Medical groups are criticizing an HHS proposal to amend HIPAA rules that prevent states from reporting certain medical information to a federal gun-purchase background check database. The proposal follows an executive order on gun safety that President Obama signed in January. Wall Street Journal.
During a conference this week, National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari discussed the health IT industry's progress and challenges. Meanwhile, Doug Fridsma of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT discussed federal health IT standards efforts, and acting Department of Veterans Affairs CIO Stephen Warren pledged more open-source contributions. Government Health IT.
In an article published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari and two other HHS officials call for a more patient-centered clinical quality measurement framework. FierceHealthIT, Government Health IT.
Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden plan to reintroduce a bill that would require HHS to create a no-cost, searchable database of Medicare claims. Last week, a judge lifted an injunction that barred public access to a confidential Medicare database. Healthcare IT News et al.
Yesterday, the House passed a bill that would establish a nationwide system to track prescription drugs from manufacturers to pharmacies. Unlike a Senate version of the bill, the measure would not require FDA to implement electronic tracking tools. The Hill's "Floor Action Blog" et al.
A Journal of the American Health Information Management Association report finds slow progress toward ICD-10 implementation. In the fall of 2012, more than 50% of survey respondents were in early stages of ICD-10 implementation. Clinical Innovation & Technology et al.
At Health Datapalooza IV today, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that CMS has released new federal data on outpatient hospital procedure charges, as well as Medicare spending and utilization. Meanwhile, federal officials also announced the launch of several new health data-related competitions. Healthcare IT News, Kaiser Health News' "Capsules."
U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have posted entries on the White House Blog praising the effect of the Affordable Care Act and other federal initiatives on the health care industry. Park writes that the 2009 federal economic stimulus package was a catalyst for broader electronic health record adoption. FierceHealthIT, eWeek.
Legal experts are debating the extent to which HIPAA regulations are preventing states from reporting certain medical data to the federal gun-purchase background check database. The Obama administration is looking into easing some of the legal barriers under HIPAA. Reuters.
HHS' Office of the Inspector General has published a final rule allowing state Medicaid fraud units to use federal funding for data mining efforts to find fraudulent billing. OIG says the rule likely will save about $72 million from 2014 to 2023. Modern Healthcare, CQ HealthBeat.
In a final order, FDA said it is amending the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to categorize "digital pill" technology as a class 2 medical device. Such technology can transmit messages about a patient's health and drug ingestion from inside the stomach. The Hill's "RegWatch."
A preliminary bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee allocates $344 million for a joint, integrated electronic health system between the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The funds must go toward the creation of an open-architecture system. NextGov.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a bill that calls on FDA to propose rules to track prescription drug distribution. The committee rejected an amendment to create an electronic unit-level tracking system. The Hill's "RegWatch," Cleveland Plain Dealer.