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Archive for January, 2013

ONC HIT Policy and Standards Committees Hold Joint Hearing on Health Information Exchange

January 30, 2013 Leave a comment

On January 29, the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT’s (ONC) HIT Policy Committee and HIT Standards Committee held a rare joint meeting to hear from stakeholders regarding various health information exchange (HIE) issues.  Invited panelists included representatives from Accountable Care Organizations, HIT vendors, integrated health care delivery systems, and state/regional HIE networks, among others.

ONC initially announced the hearing on December 20, 2012, alongside various other activities intended to take the place of a rulemaking to develop federal HIE governance regulations.  Although ONC was essentially positioning itself for a rulemaking throughout the first half of 2012, public comments on a May Request for Information convinced the agency that federal regulations could potentially stifle innovation in the States and private sector.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use

January 2013 Recap of Federal HIT Policy Developments

January 22, 2013 Leave a comment

On January 8, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new guidance regarding the optional significant hardship exception that will allow many radiologists to temporarily avoid payment reductions for noncompliance with the EHR Incentive Program (“meaningful use”) beginning in 2015. According to the new guidance, physicians with the primary Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) specialty codes “diagnostic radiology,” “nuclear medicine,” and “interventional radiology” will automatically avoid penalties for noncompliance. Without future legislative intervention, CMS cannot grant a physician the significant hardship exception for more than five total years.

On January 14, The American College of Radiology (ACR) submitted feedback in response to a November 26 request for comments (RFC) from the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT’s (ONC) HIT Policy Committee regarding ideas for policy recommendations on Stage 3 meaningful use objectives. The HIT Policy Committee will use the lessons learned from the public comments to draft recommendations in mid-2013 for the future CMS and ONC rulemakings related to Stage 3 meaningful use. Both federal agencies will be free to use or not use the recommendations however they see fit while drafting the proposed rules.

On January 16, the ONC HIT Standards Committee convened for its monthly meeting. Of note, the advisors and ONC staff discussed the planned standards work ahead for 2013 which could include discussions about medical imaging standards. The HIT Standards Committee had previously planned to explore this area in 2012, but never got around to it.

On January 17, the ACR Government Relations Department published the December-January 2013 issue of the ACR Advocacy Update, featuring news and information about activities related to legislative, state, and federal affairs topics.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use

ONC Announces Availability of Latest Product Test Tools/Procedures for HIT Certification Program

January 2, 2013 Leave a comment

On January 2, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) announced the availability of the latest test tools/procedures for use in the ONC HIT Certification Program (formerly known as the Permanent Certification Program).

Testing laboratories will use these resources to test submitted products against the 2014 Edition EHR certification criteria.  These documents will also be helpful for software developers and others who plan to submit HIT products for testing and certification for use by participants in the Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Program (or “Meaningful Use”).

Visit the healthit.gov website to access official resources associated with the HIT Certification Program.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare
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