CMS Publishes Minor Corrections to Stage 2 MU Final Rule; October 2012 ACR Advocacy Update Now Available
On October 23, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published various corrections to the agency’s September 4 final rule to update the requirements of the Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. The October revisions are grammatical/administrative in nature and are unlikely to have an impact on eligible professionals.
In other news, the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) Government Relations and Economics Departments published the October 2012 issue of the ACR Advocacy Update. The ACR Advocacy Update is a monthly e-newsletter featuring contributions from ACR staff who work on federal and state legislative, regulatory, and coding/reimbursement policy issues.
To view previous issues of the ACR Advocacy Update, please visit the ACR’s Advocacy website.
On October 11, the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) IT and Informatics Committee hosted the second annual “Imaging Informatics Summit” in Washington, DC. Radiologists, HIT thought leaders, industry, and federal government representatives participated in the event.
Dr. Jacob Reider (Acting CMO, Office of the National Coordinator for HIT) delivered the keynote presentation on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ general approach to the Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and the certification of EHR technology used in that program, as well as the role of imaging and radiologists. Dr. Keith Dreyer (Chair, ACR ITIC) discussed the program’s regulatory requirements and changes made in the September 2012 final rules. Dr. Alberto Goldszal (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/UMDNJ) explored his practical meaningful use experiences in 2011 and 2012. I provided summit attendees with a very brief update about some of ACR’s interests and activities related to the program.
In addition to the EHR Incentive Program, this year’s summit featured a variety of pertinent HIT policy topics, including mHealth and mobile medical devices/applications, ACR Appropriateness Criteria-guided clinical decision support, and HIT-enabled radiation dose monitoring.
The American College of Radiology’s (ACR) Government Relations and Economics Departments published the September 2012 issue of the ACR Advocacy Update. The ACR Advocacy Update is a monthly e-newsletter featuring contributions from ACR staff who work on federal and state legislative, regulatory, and coding/reimbursement policy issues.
To view previous issues of the ACR Advocacy Update, please visit the ACR Advocacy website.
Earlier today, President Barack Obama signed into law S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety and Innovation Act. The primary purpose of the legislation is to renew and enhance the user-fee programs for drugs and medical devices.
Among many other things, the legislation requires the FDA, Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop a report detailing a “proposed strategy and recommendations on an appropriate, risk-based regulatory framework pertaining to health information technology, including mobile medical applications, that promotes innovation, protects patient safety, and avoids regulatory duplication” within 18 months of enactment. The legislation also authorizes the Secretary of HHS to establish a geographically diverse and balanced working group to inform the process.
An HHS press release about the legislation is now available.
Online registration for the first annual ACR Imaging Informatics Summit and Dose Monitoring Forum will soon close. To reserve your seat, please visit the registration page by Friday, October 28.
This year’s meeting will take place November 3-4 at the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Additional information, including the agenda and speaker list, is available online.
The American College of Radiology’s (ACR) Government Relations and Economics Departments recently published the October 2011 ACR Advocacy Update. The ACR Advocacy Update is a monthly newsletter featuring contributions from ACR staff who work on federal and state legislative, regulatory, and coding/reimbursement policy issues.
To view previous issues of the ACR Advocacy Update, please visit the ACR Government Relations website.
The American College of Radiology (ACR) is holding its first annual imaging informatics summit on November 3-4 in Washington DC. The deadline for pre-registration is October 28.
This year’s event will focus on four HIT policy and informatics topics:
- meaningful use of certified EHR technology;
- mobile devices/applications;
- clinical decision support; and,
- radiation dose monitoring.
On September 29, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), with the sponsorship of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), released a letter report regarding “Incorporating Occupational Information in Electronic Health Records.”
The report describes radiation exposure to be among the most useful, but also the most difficult, occupational data to obtain. It indicates that for information related to occupational exposures (chemical, physical, or radiation), clinicians can be linked to general resources; however, the value of resources that are not seamlessly incorporated into the clinician’s workflow is questioned. The report mentions that HL7 standards exist for context-aware information retrieval that would allow technology to associate an exposure with an item in the work history, which can then be pulled into clinical decision support.
To access the report, please visit the IOM’s website.
During its September 22-23 business meeting, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes (ACMUI) discussed the issue of identifying electronic signature standards for written directives. The discussion, a continuation of the dialog started by NRC back in October 2010, was intended to inform NRC staff as they write guidance for regional investigators on the requisite characteristics of acceptable e-signatures.
NRC staff presented their preliminary thoughts on potential characteristics of acceptable e-signatures, particularly the need for:
- Unique identification
- Data integrity assurance
Members of the ACMUI mentioned that other federal agencies and programs deal with electronic standards and NRC should be careful not to conflict with things such as standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHR technology. The guidance must also be flexible enough to be suitable for licensees with low or no levels of HIT adoption; for example, any licensees that store written directives electronically but do not use EHR technology to do so.
Ultimately, ACMUI members decided to form a subcommittee to report back with a recommended approach for how NRC might be able to gather the information they need to develop good guidance.