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Archive for September, 2016

ONC Releases EHR Acquisition Resources; GAO Issues Report on Patient Data Security

September 26, 2016 Leave a comment

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released two free resources for healthcare providers on September 26. The new EHR contract guide and interactive Health IT Playbook are designed to provide supplementary guidance for those with decision-making influence over EHR technology acquisitions in their practices. The contract guide expands upon ONC’s 2013 explanation of common EHR contract terms to provide more information about purchasing, upgrading, or replacing EHR technology. The Health IT Playbook expands upon the earlier Patient Engagement Playbook to provide adoption information and references for end-users. These documents are purely informational and not intended to provide compliance guidance or indicate government/regulatory policy.

Additionally, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on September 26 titled, “Electronic Health Information: HHS Needs to Strengthen Security and Privacy Guidance and Oversight.” The report outlines cyber-based security threats to patient data and recommends that HHS update its guidance for protecting electronic health information to address key security elements, improve technical assistance it provides to covered entities, follow up on corrective actions, and establish metrics for gauging the effectiveness of its audit program.

Categories: EHR

ACR Supports Reduced Reporting Period for Meaningful Use in 2016

September 7, 2016 Leave a comment

The American College of Radiology (ACR) submitted comments on September 6 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in support of the proposed ninety-day reporting period for participants in the EHR Incentive Program in 2016. Currently, Meaningful EHR Users beyond their first year of participation in the program are required to report data from the full calendar year.

The proposed change was included in the agency’s 2017 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule.  If finalized as anticipated, 2016 would be the third straight year CMS has shortened the EHR reporting period for all participants.

Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare