Home > EHR, meaningful use, Medicare > Recap of Recent Federal HIT Policy Developments

Recap of Recent Federal HIT Policy Developments

There have been several miscellaneous federal HIT policy developments over the past few days.

On March 22, the U.S. Department of Commerce-National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a Federal Register notice of an April 26 National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) workshop for prospective HIT testing laboratories interested in seeking NVLAP accreditation under the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT’s (ONC) permanent certification program.   The permanent certification program is intended to replace the temporary certification program by the beginning of 2012.  The permanent/temporary certification program regulations dictate the responsibilities of HIT product testing and certification (and accreditation) bodies.

On March 21, Dr. Doug Fridsma (ONC Director Office of Standards and Interoperability) provided an extensive Direct Project update via the Health IT Buzz blog, including providing the names of the latest health information exchange networks, vendors, health systems, and others who are planning to participate.  The ONC’s Direct Project is essentially a set of technical services and transport standards that facilitate pushing patient data from a sender to a receiver, but it does not deal with the content or vocabulary standards of the pushed message.

Also on March 21, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its report to Congress on the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or “healthcare reform”).  The report includes high-level discussions of HHS’ efforts with the EHR Incentive Program and some other HIT initiatives from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, or “economic stimulus”).

On March 23, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a revamp of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation website.  The Center (also a PPACA creation) is intended to test innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce program expenditures under Medicare/Medicaid while preserving or enhancing the quality of care.  One of the examples of potential innovative delivery model tests (among about 15 other examples) is varying payment to physicians who order advanced diagnostic imaging services according to adherence to appropriateness criteria guidelines.

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Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare
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