September 17, 2010
Stimulus Update – April 23, 2010
The economic stimulus package and the federal healthcare reform legislation share many common areas of emphasis.
Healthcare reform, for example, expands the quality reporting requirements first put forth in the HITECH of 2009. And both pieces of legislation use grants to expand the clinical workforce.
Given these and other commonalities, Cerner believes achieving “Meaningful Use” will help your organization meet many of the new healthcare reform requirements.Waiting on final rules
It is still unclear when the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) will publish the final Meaningful Use rule. Public comment on the rule ended on March 15, 2010. Given the number of comments received and the organizations involved in the review, Cerner believes CMS may take until the end of May to finalize and publish the rule.Outpatient physicians eligible for MU incentives
On April 15, 2010, President Obama signed a bill that extended unemployment benefits. The bill also clarified information technology provisions in last year’s federal stimulus package. The language makes it possible for physicians working in hospital outpatient locations to participate in the Meaningful Use incentive program for eligible providers.
Prior to this change, federal law excluded these hospital-based physicians from receiving incentives for the “Meaningful Use” of an electronic medical record (EMR). Cerner expects CMS to use this new wording when it publishes the final rule on Meaningful Use later this year.Patient Safety
On April 21, 2010, the Certification/Adoption Workgroup of the HIT Policy Committee submitted a series of recommendations.Goal“Establish a patient-centered approach to HIT safety that is consistent with the National Coordinator’s vision of a learning health and healthcare system. To achieve this goal, a culture of improvement needs to be created by each healthcare entity."
(Adoption Certification Workgroup Members, 2010)Recommendations
1. Create a national Patient Safety Organization (reporting, investigating, disseminating and finding patient safety issues)
2. Facilitate and encourage reporting
3. Use vendor patient safety alerts (Patient engagement, Implementation, education and training)
4. Encourage interoperability (Interface transactions should be traceable in the event of a problem)
5. Employ the best safety practices
6. Seek accreditation
7. Finalize certification criteria 18 months before the eligibility date for Stage 2 and Stage 3
8. Consider changes to FDA regulations. Current concerns range from limitations of problems as a singular device to limiting innovation through strict controls
9. Continue to encourage implementation of EMR systemsNHIN Recommendations
The HIT Policy Committee meeting also included an update from the National Health Information Network (NHIN) Workgroup. This panel presented its recommendations for a framework that would support a NHIN. The full committee then approved the recommendations with a few minor adjustments.
The framework will serve as a guideline for future NHIN rules. There are still some general areas of concern, such as the future funding for Health Information Exchange (HIE) organizations, but many of those are beyond the scope of the workgroup.HIE Framework
• Agreed upon business, policy and legal requirements
• Enforcement and accountability
• Transparent oversight
• Identity assurance
• Technical requirements
Amendment to H.R. 4851, retrieved April 21, 2010 from Library of Congress
Adoption Certification Workgroup Members. HIT Policy Committee: Meetings. Retrieved April 21, 2010 from Health Information Technology.