Policy and Legislation

Stories on healthcare IT policy focus on subjects such as legislative developments impacting healthcare IT, regulations for the use of IT in the delivery of healthcare, guidelines for monitoring quality of care, and funding opportunities in healthcare IT. Policy stories often deal with the federal, state and local institutions responsible for regulating the healthcare IT industry.



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RTI International has landed a contract with the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to develop a roadmap for a national health IT safety center.
October 9, 2014
News
Medicare is fining a record number of hospitals -- 2,610 -- for having too many patients return within a month for additional treatments, federal records released Oct. 1 show. Even though the nation’s readmission rate is dropping, Medicare’s average fines will be higher.
October 9, 2014
News
It may not come as any surprise: Electronic health record vendors don't play well with others. At least that's according to healthcare providers who say, in the lion's share of cases, their EHR is not interoperable with others.
October 8, 2014
News
The U.S. government's new $450 million job training program targets 270 community colleges across the country, many of which plan to offer courses in health IT.
October 8, 2014
News
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will reopen the submission period for meaningful use hardship exception applications.
October 7, 2014
News
A major healthcare investment firm says the insurance industry will have to abandon its 50-year-old business plan and embrace mHealth, among other changes, to survive.
October 6, 2014
News
Judy Murphy, RN, director of the Office of Clinical Quality and Safety at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, is the latest in a long drumbeat of departures from the agency. Murphy will leave ONC to become chief nursing officer at IBM Healthcare Global Business Services.
October 3, 2014
News
It's imperative for the success of interoperability that Stage 3 meaningful use be less stringent, giving health IT vendors the necessary latitude to develop innovative products, according to a draft report from ONC's joint HIT Policy and Standards Committee JASON task force.
October 3, 2014
News
The National Institutes of Health will award $46 million in grants to support the government's cognitive research initiative known as BRAIN, or Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies.
October 2, 2014
News
As Shellshock, the latest serious cybersecurity flaw, casts its shadow over healthcare, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finalized a set of recommendations to protect medical devices from Web-based attacks.
October 2, 2014
News
HIMSS executives this week had three big messages for the Department of Health and Human Services and newcomer chief Sylvia Mathews Burwell: They want to see serious changes with meaningful use, interoperability and clinical quality measures.
October 2, 2014
News
When Russell Branzell, chief executive officer of CHIME, told an audience at the AHIMA convention that he was "mad as hell," the crowd of hundreds of healthcare information managers roared with laughter and applause.
October 1, 2014
News
Electronic locks and latches provide enhanced security where healthcare facilities need it the most – on the carts and cabinets that house valuable medical supplies and patient information. Electronic locks provide secure locking and audit trail capabilities that can help healthcare IT managers comply with industry regulations such as HIPAA and <a href="/directory/health-information-technology-economic-and-clinical-health-hitech-act" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">HITECH</a>. This white paper explores opportunities for improved physical security in the healthcare environment and reviews electronic access solutions available to equipment manufacturers.
October 16, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/southco_wp_medsecurity.pdf
Protect
IT organizations are under increasing intense pressure to consolidate IT operations and refine cyber security initiatives to balance the need to cut costs, against requirements to better manage security and associated risks. This delicate balancing act is forcing many public sector organizations to make difficult decisions that must be carefully weighed. Read this white paper for a list of top cyber security myths that agencies must ‘bust’ to achieve greater security, and better manage ongoing risks.
October 14, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/cienacybermythbusters3__4_.pdf
Protect
Hospitals and medical offices are busy places. Ever wonder how easy it would be for someone to walk out with an office laptop or mobile device? Not only do patients expect confidentiality of their medical records but government regulations like HIPAA demand it. The theft of laptops, computers and mobile devices is a common cause of data breaches and physical security is a highly effective first line of defense.
October 8, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/kensington_white_paper_080612.pdf
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By taking a comprehensive approach to systems management, healthcare providers’ IT departments can significantly reduce the amount of time required to perform routine maintenance tasks, therefore improving productivity. These time savings allow IT departments to shift staff to more value added activities that help support the business and reachstrategic goals.
September 19, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/realizing_the_return.pdf
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Specialty medicine practices rarely employ a dedicated information technology resource. Durham Nephrology is no exception. The Durham practice navigated the uncharted waters of attesting to <a href="/directory/meaningful-use" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">Meaningful Use</a> under <a href="/directory/health-information-technology-economic-and-clinical-health-hitech-act" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">the HITECH Act</a> of 2009 without the benefit of an IT expert or outside consultant. They implemented an <a href="/directory/electronic-health-record-ehr" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">EHR</a> system in 2003 and believed that an EHR was the only long-term, effective way to organize patient charts and clinical notes. Read this story to find out this resourceful team achieved their goals--and more.
September 4, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/pro100_proehr_durham_nephrology_associates_nephrology_nc_success_story_10_19_11.pdf
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Every HIM initiative - especially clinical documentation - relies on a single common thread for success: the availability and integrity of the right data to drive the correct decisions and follow-on actions. Capturing accurate, complete quality clinical documentation is the most critical and fundamental component in providing quality care, and ultimately has the biggest connection to generating revenue. This white paper describes the risks associated with the lack of a core HIT strategy; identifies HIT strategies that can help manage the complex clinical documentation challenges associated with ICD-10, RAC and ACOs; and provides an overview of existing and emerging technologies that have significant impact on addressing these challenges.
August 2, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/white_paper-perfect_storm.pdf
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The United States is undergoing a major transformation of its healthcare delivery system, driven by federal health IT investments and healthcare reforms. This content piece features information from a joint presentation at the HIMSS12 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas in February, where Eric Dishman, General Manager of Health Strategy and Solutions at Intel Corporation, and Jason Hwang, MD, executive director of healthcare at the Innosight Institute, presented on the power of “disruptive innovation” to meet the challenges of transforming the U.S. health sector. Download this paper to read examples of how disruption health IT innovation is driving new care models across the globe.
March 29, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/intel_disruptive_innovation.pdf
Protect
Computer technology has become a vital component of patient care in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, but has it also introduced new threats to those patients? Research indicates that computer keyboards can act as reservoirs for microorganisms and bacteria that can be cross-transmitted via the hands of healthcare providers. This free white paper examines the risks associated with these bacterial conditions in keyboards and how they can be overcome.
March 1, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/cherry_overcoming_the_risks.pdf
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Inside, industry experts examine how health analytics can drastically improve the current state of health care in the US. By integrating and analyzing the vast amounts of data available, the industry will be better equipped to identify at-risk patients, evaluate potential treatment plans, assess individual physicians’ performance and more.
March 1, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/sas_thepowerofhealth.pdf
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This paper examines why health care reform is causing a shift to a consumer-driven business model and the role analytics plays in helping organizations make the transformation successfully. Read this white paper to gain insight on how health insurance plans can come out ahead with advanced customer intelligence and engagement strategies.
March 1, 2012
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/sas_faqa.pdf
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Curtailing the massive drain caused by waste, abuse and fraud in healthcare has never been more impor¬tant. New payment models are on the horizon, including <a href="/directory/bundled-payments" target="_blank" class="directory-item-link">bundled payments</a>, and greater emphasis is being placed on payment for outcomes. Given the magnitude and visibility of the problem, insurers need to avail themselves of advanced and effective means to reduce wasteful, abusive and fraudulent medical spend¬ing in the most efficient way possible. This demands a more holistic approach across the payment continuum, using technologies that not only address issues from multiple angles but also facilitate cross-organization partnership. Read more now.
December 12, 2011
Resource
sites/default/files/resource-media/pdf/mckesson_paymentpolicyoptimization.pdf
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Earlier this week, Karen DeSalvo, MD, sent an e-mail to ONC staffers detailing plans to restructure the office. In return, DeSalvo on Tuesday received a letter from the Energy and Commerce committee demanding answers.
June 5, 2014
Blog
John Halamka, MD, offers his take on the recent reorganization at ONC, which reduced 17 different offices to 10.
June 4, 2014
Blog
Last week, I posted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from CMS that offers flexibility to Meaningful Use attestation in 2014. Since then, I've received hundreds of emails about it from my fellow CIOs across the country. Here's a summary.
May 28, 2014
Blog
I just spent three long days covering the open public forum on the FDASIA report. Federal officials, at the end, said they got from the meeting exactly what they were hoping to get: feedback.
May 20, 2014
Blog
Why politics, parity and performance requirements mean behavioral health hospitals should adopt now.
May 13, 2014
Blog
Did you hear the one about the CMS administrator who was asked what it would take to delay the 2014 ICD-10 implementation deadline? An act of Congress, he smugly replied, according to unverified reports.
April 23, 2014
Blog
There are innumerable clinical, financial and compliance issues to be concerned about in this watershed era for the American healthcare system. However, do not forget about HIPAA.
April 17, 2014
Blog
The first quarter of 2014 is over and yet we are still witnessing EHR system vendors asking the government for more time, or to lessen the certification demands, for Stage 2 of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Meaningful Use of EHRs program.
April 14, 2014
Blog
With meaningful use and ICD-10 deadlines inching closer, it is almost as if we are watching an expected slow and steady storm roll in. This sizable downpour will affect healthcare organizations, vendors, and payors alike, and it contains financial hazards that can be avoided.
March 26, 2014
Blog
This week marks a major milestone in our journey towards adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records. As we work toward the secure, private and meaningful exchange of interoperable health information across the continuum of care, the law that made much of this possible turns five.
February 20, 2014
Blog
Readers of my blog know that over the past year, I've written several posts warning about the burden of 2014 certification, the timing overlap of numerous federal programs including ICD-10, and my observations that IT professionals/providers are at the breaking point.
February 12, 2014
Blog
Feb. 4 at the HIT Policy Committee meeting, the Meaningful Use Workgroup presented its recommendations as part of the process leading to a final rule in 2015.
February 4, 2014
Blog
Merge Healthcare (NASDAQ: MRGE), a leading provider of enterprise imaging and interoperability solutions, today announced that HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation, has selected its iConnect vendor neutral archive to create a true enterprise-wide imaging strategy across all of its hospitals and clinics.
November 1, 2011
Press Release
Liaison Technologies, a global provider of secure cloud-based integration and data management services and solutions, announced today a partner program for healthcare solution providers. The Liaison Healthcare Partner Program enables third parties to access and contribute to an integrated platform for patient information—all with an emphasis on trust and privacy, scalability and flexibility.
October 18, 2011
Press Release
Jericho Systems Corporation, the pioneer in Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC) technology, today reinforced its commitment to protecting the privacy rights of patients, healthcare providers, insurers, and other government agencies while securely sharing sensitive healthcare information.
October 6, 2011
Press Release
Welch Allyn, a leading global provider of frontline medical products and solutions, today announced it has successfully completed the acquisition of TRIMLINE Medical Products Corporation, formerly a manufacturer of a full range of blood pressure cuffs, aneroid gauges and stethoscopes. Welch Allyn has fully integrated all blood pressure cuff manufacturing operations into its Skaneateles Falls, NY, and Tijuana, Mexico, facilities, giving the company a unique opportunity to better serve its customers by offering them the full spectrum of blood pressure management products—from mechanical gauges, to electronic devices, to disposable and reusable blood pressure cuffs.
October 4, 2011
Press Release
PLC Systems Inc. (OTCBB: PLCSF), a company focused on innovative medical device technologies, today announced that it had signed an agreement with ACIST Medical Systems, Inc., a Bracco Group company, to distribute its innovative RenalGuard System™ in France and Germany.
October 4, 2011
Press Release
LiveData, Inc., a leading innovator of real-time data integration and display technology, today announced today that it has signed a six-year development and licensing agreement with Titan Medical Inc. (TSX VENTURE:TMD). Under terms of the agreement, Titan Medical will have an exclusive, worldwide license for LiveData RTI Server as an integration technology for the Company's Amadeus Composer robotic surgical platform.
September 16, 2011
Press Release
Glen R. Stream, MD, MBI, FAAFP, a family physician in Spokane, Wash., assumes the role of president of the American Academy of Family Physicians today. Previously, he served three years as a director on the AAFP Board and one year as president-elect. Stream was elected president-elect in September 2010 by the Congress of Delegates, the AAFP's governing body. The AAFP represents 100,300 physicians and medical students nationwide.
September 15, 2011
Press Release
Treatment of patients with chronic disease accounts for nearly four-fifths of U.S. healthcare spending. Robert Bosch Healthcare, Inc., the market leader in remote patient monitoring systems and a subsidiary of the Bosch Group, today announced new evidence demonstrating that implementing carefully designed care management and telehealth programs for these patients can help significantly reduce health care spending.
September 12, 2011
Press Release
MGMA’s Patient Centered Medical Home Study: 2011 Report based on 2011 Data, conducted in April 2011, captured the views of 341 primary care and multispecialty practices nationwide and found that almost 70 percent of respondents were already in the process of transforming or interested in becoming a PCMH while more than 20 percent were accredited or recognized as a PCMH by a national organization. The report is available for free through the MGMA store. MGMA’s study found the majority of practices interested in becoming a PCMH were family medicine (nearly 36 percent), followed closely by multispecialty practices with primary and specialty care (more than 30 percent) and pediatrics (more than 10 percent).
July 21, 2011
Press Release
For more than 40 Indiana physicians and hospitals, compliance with new federal electronic recordkeeping standards could net more than $10 million in incentives as they adopt information technology systems geared to improve their operations and the level of patient care.
June 16, 2011
Press Release
The nation’s broadest representational assembly of physicians will gather in Chicago next week to shape the health care agenda of the American Medical Association, the country’s largest physician organization.
June 14, 2011
Press Release
Health 2.0 and Walgreens launched June 9 the Walgreens 2011 Challenge: A New Approach to Patient Information Navigation, which invites teams of developers to create an application that presents aggregated U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data on specific health topics.
June 10, 2011
Press Release