News

CMS to hit 257,000 docs with Meaningful Use penalties

Roughly 257,000 Medicare eligible professionals (EPs) will be hit with a 1 percent penalty to their Medicare Physician Fee Schedule payments beginning  Jan. 5, 2015, for failing to meet Meaningful Use by Oct. 1, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services revealed during a press call Wednesday afternoon.

Congress to ONC: Focus on interoperability

Congress has made clear that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's priority should be on interoperability, ordering the agency to change how it certifies electronic health records so that non-interoperable products don't make the cut.

Survey: More consumers amenable to online portals

Consumers continue to warm up to the concept of online access and patient portals, although many of them are still unaware of the tools, according to a new survey.

Veteran use of PHRs remains low

Most veterans are not taking advantage of the personal health record and patient portal available to them, according to a new study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

DEA approves EHNAC to certify e-prescribing of controlled substances

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has approved the certification process for the electronic prescribing of controlled substances developed by the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), according to an announcement posted Dec. 12, in the Federal Register.

Mobile devices can enable EHR access but still put info at risk

Mobile devices, such as laptops and smartphones, can enable clinicians to access electronic health records, but many still don't protect the information, despite the vulnerability of the electronic patient information and the many breaches that have been documented, panelists warned at the American Bar Association Health Law Section's 12th annual Washington Health Law Summit, held this week in the District of Columbia. 

Consumers more comfortable with electronic health records

Patients see "significant" value in electronic health records and want more access, according to a new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families.

ONC strategic plan raises questions about the future of Meaningful Use

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's updated health IT strategic plan, released Dec. 8, is a high-level, ambitious framework for the federal government. It addresses some of the questions the industry has had about the direction of health IT and ONC. It's also an interesting read.

Stage 2 attestation still discouraging; CHIME reiterates call for shortened MU reporting period

The attestation numbers for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use program continue to disappoint, with only 3,655 eligible professionals and 164 eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals receiving payments for meeting the requirements through October 2014, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' latest data.

Crisis group adopts EHRs to treat Ebola patients in Liberia

The International Rescue Committee, a crisis organization, plans to adopt electronic health records to help it treat the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

ONC: Incentive payments top reason docs adopt EHRs

Meaningful Use incentive payments have been the top driver of physicians' transitions to electronic health records over the past five years, according to a new data brief from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

HIT powerhouses join forces to accelerate data sharing

Health Level Seven International (HL-7), in coordination with several EHR vendors and providers, has launched a project to advance Fast Health Interoperability Resources and improve data sharing.

Implementation of Epic system in UK runs into technical, quality problems

The implementation of a new electronic health record system at Cambridge University Hospitals in the UK went so badly that its CEO issued an apology to patients in the local newspaper.

Potential new measures may put Meaningful Use out of reach for most physicians

Meaningful Use is supposed be, well, meaningful.

Stakeholders have been all over the board regarding what the Meaningful Use program should evolve into. Some believe the focus should be on interoperability. Others want to make it less punitive and restrictive. The Institute of Medicine has suggested that more social and behavior data, such as stress and household income levels, be collected.

But if the new list of potential measures for the Meaningful Use program published by the National Quality Forum's Measure Application Partnership (MAP) is any indication, for eligible professionals, the program is either getting customized or going haywire.

JASON report: 'Learning health system' must go beyond EHR interoperability

The healthcare system needs to focus on health of individuals, not the care they receive, to create a culture of health, according to a new report from JASON, an independent group of scientists that advises the U.S. government on science and technology.

NQF to consider new measures for Meaningful Use

Stakeholders that wish to weigh in on potentially new quality measures for the Meaningful Use incentive program will soon have the opportunity to do so, now that the National Quality Forum has started reviewing suggested measures for use in 20 different federal programs.

RAND: HIEs are still 'experiments' in need of further study

The jury is still out as to whether health information exchanges (HIEs) are delivering as promised, since it appears that very few of them have been evaluated, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Med students need more access to EHRs

Medical schools should allow students to use electronic health records more so that they can become more competent with them, according to a new editorial published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

AHRQ to ID 'core' functionalities for pediatric EHRs

Electronic health records geared toward pediatric care should focus on several fundamental functionalities if they're going to have a positive effect on children, according to a new draft technical brief prepared for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

OIG: Massachusetts overpaid Medicaid EHR incentives to hospitals

Massachusetts overpaid hospitals for the Medicaid electronic health record incentive program by $2.1 million over a two-year period from 2011 through the end of 2012, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.