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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Perhaps if the Senate had voted down the doc pay patch, regrouped, come back with another stab at permanent SGR repeal, someone would have noticed Section 212 saying that HHS cannot mandate ICD-10 as the standard code set before Oct. 1, 2014, in effect delaying the deadline by another year.
April 1, 2014
News
The U.S. Senate voted to pass the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, which both pushes back the compliance deadline for ICD-10 and perseveres the pay rate for doctors treating Medicare patients. Before those officially take hold, however, President Barack Obama has to sign the bill into law.
April 1, 2014
News
The American Health Information Management Association is urging controls on the copy-and-paste functionality in electronic health record systems. The use of copy-and-paste should be permitted only when such "strong technology and administrative controls," are in place, the organization wrote in a position statement.
March 31, 2014
News
ICD-10 has been the butt of countless jokes during the last several months but none so surprising as the latest one-liner. Only this isn't funny. Whether you're hoping President Obama gets a chance to sign the provision pushing ICD-10 back within the SGR fix into law, or crossing fingers that the Senate kills it come Monday, no matter.
March 28, 2014
News
The House vote to delay ICD-10 caught some off guard, angered some, and provoked scorn from plenty. Twitter was buzzing with sarcastic jokes and pleas to senators to keep fighting against any further delays.
March 27, 2014
News
In the morning, the U.S. House postponed the vote on delaying ICD-10 to 2015 and on a temporary fix to how doctors are paid, but by afternoon, House members came back around and voted to pass the bill. It now goes to the Senate.
March 27, 2014
News
After a fiery debate on the House floor, House members pushed back an effort to delay the ICD-10 compliance deadline to 2015, legislation that also aimed to create a temporary SGR patch.
March 27, 2014
News
Under the guise of the already contentious SGR fix, Congress is girding to vote on a bill Thursday that would delay ICD-10. AHIMA has written a letter, urging Congress to stay the course to the Oct. 1 deadline.
March 26, 2014
News
A group of senators are now urging the Food and Drug Administration to provide clarification on how the agency would classify mobile applications.
March 25, 2014
News
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has launched a dozen projects that will develop strategies and suggestions for various facets of Stage 3 meaningful use.
March 24, 2014
News
While the U.S. continues digitizing its healthcare industry, a huge challenge is arising: not only securing those systems but verifying identities. With a steady stream of HIPAA-covered data breaches continuing over the past few years, some argue that current identity security approaches just aren't adequate.
March 18, 2014
News
The federal government has provided relief for healthcare providers via the hardship exception rule in the EHR Incentive Program. Eligible physicians and hospitals can apply for exceptions to anticipated penalties if their vendor has not obtained EHR certification for 2014.
March 13, 2014
News
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
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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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A new era in healthcare IT has arrived! Even when physicians can’t physically be there, new advances in technology allow them to always “virtually” be on the scene to save a life - whether it’s in the middle of the night or on their day off. In this short video, you’ll watch how a cardiologist prescribes a patient the medicine he needs stat at 2 a.m. You’ll see how easily you can access clinical desktops from anywhere and access real-time info about patients as they’re getting wheeled into the ER. In addition, the video will show you how to go mobile instantly with desktops that follow users, review real-time ER caseloads and enable HD face-to-face telemedicine. Also, watch how this doctor uses voice recognition to update patient records and secure patient health information (PHI) on devices. Don’t you love living in the future?
June 7, 2012
Resource
Do Not Protect
http://whitepapers.medtechmedia.com/himss-whitepapers/secure-physician-mobile-access-patient-data-virtualization
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
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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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As the year drew to a close, I was interviewed by many trade publications about the key themes that shaped 2013. Here's my own version of the notable events of 2013.
January 2, 2014
Blog
There are days when I feel like an outsider to the ePatient movement. An alien looking in. I may show up in a list of ePatients somewhere, but I'm not really a patient, because I get paid to work in healthcare.
December 30, 2013
Blog
The December HIT Standards Committee focused on patient generated data, image sharing, patient matching, and the 2014 work plan, ensuring we select the necessary standards to support meaningful use stage 3 policy goals.
December 26, 2013
Blog
You've all probably heard by now that there's going to be a change to the Meaningful Use Stage 3 roll-out. So, what is in store?
December 18, 2013
Blog
Now that we have experience with two stages of meaningful use, it's also clear that a three year cycle is needed to ensure safe, high value, well adopted, introduction of new IT functionality.
December 2, 2013
Blog
People are working hard. Priority setting is appropriate. Funding is available. The problem is that the scope is too big and the timeline is too short. What are the risks?
November 20, 2013
Blog
The November HIT Standards Committee focused on the current status of certification and attestation, readiness of standards for patient generated data, ONC S&I Framework progress and the overall HITSC workplan.
November 14, 2013
Blog
While listening to the Nov. 6 meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee, I'll be honest, I along with probably everyone else, was dying to hear a few words from the latest person to take the helm of ONC, Jacob Reider.
November 13, 2013
Blog
I've written several posts about the frustrating aspects of Meaningful Use Stage 2 Certification. The Clinical Quality Measures are certainly one of the problem spots.
November 6, 2013
Blog
A guy who launches websites for a living says Healthcare.gov is, despite popular opinion, not the worst website of all time.
October 29, 2013
Blog
Do we really need a “tech surge?” Or, more to the point, do we really need to use an Iraqi war reference when fixing a healthcare website?
October 25, 2013
Blog
After nearly 20 years as a CIO, I've learned that even with the best people, best planning and appropriate budgets, large, complex projects encounter issues imposed by external factors that cannot be predicted during initial project scheduling.
October 24, 2013
Blog
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
Tucson Medical Center and local physicians, with the help of health technology and services company Optum, today announced they are creating the nation’s first “Sustainable Health Community,” based on an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model in which hospitals, physicians, residents, employers and others share in the risk and rewards of making the health system work better for everyone.
June 9, 2011
Press Release