In a letter to federal officials, the American Hospital Association wrote that regulatory protections for electronic health record donations should be made permanent. The federal government recently proposed extending the protections through 2016. AHA News et al.
White House and HHS officials say they have taken several steps to ensure that health insurance exchanges will be operational by Oct. 1. However, to hit that deadline, officials will need to ensure that a host of technological systems are functioning effectively. USA Today.
The Office of Management and Budget has issued a new policy requiring federal agencies to make data more accessible and searchable. The Obama administration also released an online resource to aid research on links between climate change and health. FierceHealthIT et al.
Thirty health care and patient safety organizations have sent a letter asking Congress to approve $31.5 million to support CDC's National Health Care Safety Network -- which tracks health care-associated infections -- as well as a related CDC program. Health Data Management.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health has advanced a draft bill to increase oversight of the country's prescription drug supply. Unlike similar draft legislation introduced in the Senate, the House proposal would not require FDA to implement electronic tracking tools. However, the House proposal would allow for electronic prescription labeling. The Hill's "RegWatch" et al.
An FDA spokesperson says that it likely will be at least seven weeks before the agency releases a final rule creating a unique device identification system. A UDI system would allow FDA to electronically track and recall problematic medical devices. Modern Healthcare.
During a "listening session" sponsored by CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, officials from the American Medical Association and other groups offered input on using electronic health record systems for billing and coding. Modern Healthcare et al.
The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Family Physicians have responded to a request for information about how the federal government could promote health data exchange. American Medical News.
CMS and HHS are partnering with data analytics firm Archimedes to expand access to de-identified Medicare claims data. As part of the project, Archimedes is providing an online portal to help users query information. The project aims to accelerate the development of software that could leverage analytics to improve care and reduce costs. Clinical Innovation & Technology et al.
Sixty-seven senators have sent a letter asking President Obama to help the Department of Veterans Affairs resolve its disability claims backlog. VA officials say that a paperless claims processing system is key to ending the backlog. Washington Post's "Federal Eye," NextGov.
The CommonWell Health Alliance, the eHealth Initiative and the Health IT Now coalition recently sent letters to CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT describing how the federal government could advance health information exchange. Health Data Management et al.
During a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last week, witnesses expressed concern that misunderstandings about HIPAA might lead health care providers to withhold critical medical information from family, caregivers or law enforcement officials. Experts urged HHS to bolster its efforts to educate health care providers about HIPAA provisions. MedPage Today et al.
In a memo, a Department of Defense official wrote that DOD's approach to creating an integrated electronic health record system with the Department of Veterans Affairs is inconsistent with President Obama's directive to adopt open data standards. NextGov, EHR Intelligence.
In a recent comment letter, the American Hospital Association called for federal agencies to focus on implementing existing health IT initiatives instead of placing new health information exchange requirements on health care providers. Health Data Management, AHA News.
The "next generation" of electronic health record systems will need to incorporate several changes so the technology can serve as more than just computerized paper charts, according to operational, clinical and informatics leaders from the Department of Veterans Affairs. FierceEMR.