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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"I'd like to see a world where you get paid because you have good informaticians," said Doug Fridsma, MD, former chief scientist at ONC and now CEO of AMIA, speaking Wednesday at RSNA's 100th annual meeting in Chicago.
December 4, 2014
News
An estimated 50,000 lives were saved, 1.3 million fewer patients escaped harm and healthcare avoided $12 billion in spending. This according to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this week.
December 4, 2014
News
"Bad actors" are the focus of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' initiative to ramp up oversight of providers and to save taxpayers money. CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced the new measures today.
December 3, 2014
News
"Please tell Speaker Boehner, Chairman Fred Upton, and Chairman Pete Sessions that you want to add the ICD-10 delay to a must-pass piece of legislation during the upcoming 2014 lame duck session," is the most recent call to action put forth by opponents of ICD-10.
December 2, 2014
News
Offering a bit of leeway, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has pushed out the deadline for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals to attest to meaningful use for the 2014 reporting year, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31.
November 25, 2014
News
Lucia Savage, who joined the National Coordinator for Health IT as chief privacy officer this past month, will join other top security officials from the HHS Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on a panel at the HIMSS Media Privacy & Security Forum at the mHealth Summit on December 7.
November 25, 2014
News
The American Telemedicine Association is hoping an unlikely alliance in Congress between a conservative Republican and a liberal Democrat will produce some strong momentum for telemedicine in the coming years.
November 21, 2014
News
A report from the Office of Inspector General outlines the top challenges faced by the Department of Health and Human Services in FY 2014. Among them: meaningful use and interoperability. OIG also highlighted several area HHS continues to struggle with heading into 2015, including electronic health records.
November 20, 2014
News
Earlier this month, we reported how healthcare is increasingly embracing a new C-suite position: chief data officer. Now, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is getting in on the act, with the appointment of its first CDO, Niall Brennan.
November 20, 2014
News
In case anyone was still wondering about a leadership vacuum at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Karen DeSalvo, MD, is still national coordinator -- a fact that was in evidence Wednesday at the close of the American Medical Informatics Association's annual conference.
November 20, 2014
News
In tandem with its 10-year interoperability roadmap, ONC has developed a decade-long vision for ensuring health information technology is deployed to "enable robust and continuous quality improvement."
November 17, 2014
News
Two very different healthcare organizations in the Lone Star State -- one a small rural facility, the other a joint venture between for-profits and nonprofits -- have won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, given by the White House for innovation excellence.
November 14, 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
Protect
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
Protect
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
Protect
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
Protect
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
Protect
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
Protect
Friday was my one day of summer vacation, enabled by the large number of people taking a long Labor Day weekend. Some things are worth interrupting your vacation.
September 2, 2014
Blog
Hospitals across the country have until September 30 to complete their 2014 reporting period for meaningful use Stage 2. The trajectory is very positive but the position is less than perfect.
August 13, 2014
Blog
The July meeting of the HIT Standards Committee included important discussions of certification for post acute care and behavior health applications, review of data segmentation for privacy, analysis of provider directory standards and more.
July 18, 2014
Blog
One way that standards happen is when a single organization decides that a standard should exist and funds the development of it. The question that concerns me about this is what happens when the funding goes away.
July 3, 2014
Blog
The June HIT Standards Committee focused on an update and evaluation of the standards and interoperability framework initiatives, consistent with the overall theme of ONC’s recent reorganization and strategic plan to focus on fewer goals with a greater depth.
June 23, 2014
Blog
Several times over the past several days I've had to deal with issues of policy which were raised as problems preventing interoperability.
June 13, 2014
Blog
As the person responsible for the management of the hosted electronic health record and practice management system for 200 private and employed providers affiliated with a health system in Massachusetts, I couldn't believe it when I saw new CMS proposed rule modifying the EHR Incentive Program.
June 12, 2014
Blog
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
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