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Archive for November, 2012

HHS Office of Inspector General Releases Report on CMS/ONC Oversight of Meaningful Use

November 29, 2012 1 comment

On November 29, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) published the report, “Early Assessment Finds That CMS Faces Obstacles in Overseeing the Medicare EHR Incentive Program (OEI-05-11-00250),” regarding Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Program (“meaningful use”) compliance assurance challenges and recommendations.

Essentially, HHS OIG recommended verification of select participants’ attestations prior to payment, as well as publication of guidance about what participants need to have on-hand in the event of an audit.  Additionally, HHS OIG recommended that certified EHR technology be able to track/report compliance with the “yes/no” meaningful use measures.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare

ONC HIT Policy Committee Request for Comments on Stage 3 Meaningful Use

November 26, 2012 2 comments

On November 26, the Request for Comments (RFC) regarding potential Stage 3 “meaningful use” objectives from the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) HIT Policy Committee was formally published in the Federal Register. The public comment period will close on January 14, 2013. As expected based on earlier drafts, the HIT Policy Committee included a few radiology related items, including image access and radiation dose data.

The sole purpose of the RFC is to present various concepts, draft recommendations, and questions for stakeholder feedback. The American College of Radiology’s IT and Informatics Committee is currently reviewing the notice and will submit comments as per usual.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare

CMS Releases First Specifications for Stage 2 Meaningful Use Objectives

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Earlier today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released specification sheets (see table of contents) for the Stage 2 “Meaningful Use” objectives. CMS’ specification sheets are arguably the most important of the agency’s compliance guidance resources, as they provide details about appropriate ways to successfully meet the corresponding objectives.  Additionally, the specification sheets incorporate various term/concept definitions and additional key information compiled from the rules and other agency resources.

ACR Government Relations staff will include links to the Stage 2 MU objective specification sheets in our next version of the September 2012 regulatory summary.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare

HIT Policy Committee; RFC on Draft Ideas for Stage 3 MU to be Published Next Week (Or Soon Thereafter)

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment

On November 7, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) HIT Policy Committee held its monthly business meeting. The discussions were primarily focused on the upcoming Stage 3 Meaningful Use (MU) request for comments (RFC), which will likely be submitted to the Office of the Federal Register sometime next week for formal publication. The purpose of the RFC will be to present various concepts, draft recommendations, and questions for stakeholder feedback. Following the public comment period, the committee will work on developing (very early) draft recommendations for Stage 3 MU.

The timing of this activity has been criticized by many important stakeholders, including the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, and HIMSS EHR Association. ONC intends to provide a relatively brief 45-day comment period for the RFC, concurrent with the peak holiday season. Moreover, the RFC is coming only two months after the September 2012 rules (Stage 2 MU / 2014 Edition EHR Certification Criteria) were promulgated by ONC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, well before any substantial Stage 2 MU compliance guidance has been published by CMS, and over a year shy of when the 2011 and 2012 EHR Incentive Program participants will enter Stage 2 (no Stage 2 MU experience to draw from).

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare
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