Would a 'roll back' of ONC's strategic plan be good for health IT?

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) certainly didn't pull any punches in its comments on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's updated strategic plan. Unlike some commenters on the plan, who for the most part deferred to ONC, NPCA, known to favor private free market forces rather than government regulation, came out strongly against it.

CMS extends Meaningful Use attestation deadline for EPs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that it has pushed back the deadline for eligible professionals to attest to Meaningful Use to March 20.


The deadline extension will allow EPs more time to submit their MU data, CMS said. In addition, it allows EPs who have not used their one switch to go from Medicare to Medicaid or vice versa more time to do so for the 2014 year.

Sharing of clinical notes with patients worth further exploration

Allowing patients to access notes from their doctors will help to "foster truly collaborative patient-clinician relationships," even while more research is needed on the programs, according to an article at BMJ.

Benefits of moving research studies to EHRs 'counterbalanced' by increased burdens

Electronic health records have the potential to help busy practices with interventional research, but transitioning that process from paper to electronic can be more complex than expected, according to a study published this month in eGEMs (Generating Evidence and Methods to Improve Patient Outcomes).

VA, Cleveland Clinic team up to share vets' electronic health records

The Cleveland Clinic and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have joined forces to share electronic data in order to provide more coordinated care for veterans.

NCPA to ONC: Step back from health IT control

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's role in the industry, as contemplated in its updated 2015-2020 strategic plan, is too broad and should be significantly reduced, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis.

House bill aims to soften MU requirements for ASC-affiliated docs

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), joined by two Democrat and one Republican co-sponsors, has introduced legislation to soften the Meaningful Use requirements for eligible physicians who treat patients in ambulatory surgical centers.

CDC: EHR use by EDs, outpatient departments progressing

 Electronic health record use is increasing in hospital emergency and outpatient departments, according to a new data brief issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics.

Surescripts releases new resources on e-prescribing controlled substances

Health information network giant Surescripts has published new tools to help prescribers learn more about the electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

VA, DoD must pick up the pace of interoperability

The pressure is mounting on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense to share health records electronically--if only the agencies will take the hint. Not one, but two reports were issued last week decrying that the lack of interoperability is a serious problem for this country.

Epic to launch app store

Verona, Wisconsin-based electronic health record vendor Epic Systems is about to venture into new territory, readying to launch an app store that would enable third-party companies to create and sell apps that would work with its own EHRs.

Providers turn to EHRs to ensure children get measles shot

Electronic health records are making it easier for providers in the St. Louis area to ensure that their patients are vaccinated against measles.

CMS seeks input on role of health IT in new primary care models

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is asking for stakeholder input regarding the role of electronic health records and health IT in the agency's design of future advanced primary care models. 

New ONC guide aims to help providers maximize benefits of e-prescribing

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released a new electronic guide to help prescribers maximize the benefits of electronic prescribing.

Despite potential to boost reimbursements, EHRs remain a challenge for primary care docs

As healthcare providers--in particular those from primary care practices--continue to implement and work with electronic health records, some are seeing an improvement in reimbursements, according to Michael Howley, Ph.D., a certified physician assistant and associate clinical professor in the department of marketing at Drexel University.

CMS Oncology Care Model requires Meaningful Use participation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is continuing to use its payment programs to reward providers who embrace electronic health records and the Meaningful Use program, this time by including attestation as a requirement to participating in the agency's new Oncology Care Model.

GAO: Lack of interoperability between DoD, VA health records is 'high risk'

The inability of the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense to share healthcare data electronically has become such a significant concern that the Government Accountability Office has added the problem to its list of "high risk" areas.

Portal effect on outcomes 'weak' without more evidence

Patient portals have "great potential" to improve quality and outcomes, but there's not enough evidence to determine if they're actually doing so, according to a new study in the Journal of Medical Internal Research.

CMS: Providers face millions in Meaningful Use penalties

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that eligible providers who are subject to penalties under the Meaningful Use program could pay roughly $200 million in 2015.


That figure was shared by CMS officials at a joint meeting of the Office of the National Coordinator's Health IT Policy and Standards committees.

Why the Anthem data breach won't be the industry's wakeup call

There's been a flurry of activity in reaction to the cyberattack on Anthem, the largest reported healthcare data breach in history, with information for up to 80 million customers compromised. Several class-action lawsuits already have been filed. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has launched an investigation. People are calling for mandatory encryption of electronic patient protected health information in EHRs and elsewhere. Pundits are claiming that this breach will finally serve as the healthcare industry's wakeup call to better protect patient data, particularly from cyberattacks. Maybe. I'd like it to be. But it won't.