Posts Tagged ‘HHS’

HIT and EHR Workflows – Comments Requested

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Workflow.AHRQ Seeking Comments – The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking information from small- and medium-sized healthcare practices on tools for analyzing and redesigning workflows before or after an HIT implementation.

AHRQ is assessing existing research and evidence in the area of the impacts of health IT on workflow, its linkage to clinician adoption, and its links to the safety, quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of care delivery.”

Comments and Deadline – Comments should be submitted on or before August 24. Electronic responses should be addressed to

To read the full notice published in the Federal Register and visit the project’s website, go to AHRQ’s National Resource Center for Health Information Technology.

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Federal EHR Incentives – Required Certification

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

January 5 UPDATE – Definition of “Meaningful Use”

ONCHIT has released “Meaningful Use” regulations that will impact EMR certification and providers’ qualification for ARRA EMR incentives. Learn more here.

July 17 UPDATE – Multiple EHR Certification Groups

The Health IT Policy Committee has suggested that multiple groups engage in the certification of EHR systems. Previously, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), a private organization, had a monoploy on EHR system certification. The Health IT Policy Committee also recommended that officials examine gaps between existing CCHIT certification criteria and the emerging definition of “meaningful use”.

July 16 UPDATE – Definition of “Meaningful Use”

The Health IT Policy Committee approved a work group’s revised recommendations for defining “meaningful use” of electronic health records. Current elements of the definition of “meaningful use” include:

    Allow patients to access their health records in a timely manner;

    Develop capabilities to exchange health information where possible;

    Implement at least one clinical decision support rule for a specialty or clinical priority;

    Provide patients with electronic copies of discharge instructions and procedures;

    Submit insurance claims electronically; and

    Verify insurance eligibility electronically when possible.

Read more here.

July 13 UPDATE – Definition of “Meaningful Use”

The comments period for the first release of a working definition of “meaningful use” ended on June 26. Following are links to comments submitted by a number of organizations.

    CCHIT comments
    The Markle Foundation comments
    The American Hospital Association (AHA) letter
    College of Health Information Management Executives letter
    The American Medical Association (AMA) letter and comments
    Healthcare Information Mangement Systems Society (HIMSS) comments
    eHealth Initiative comments

June 23 UPDATE – Definition of “Meaningful Use” – Standards and Certification Criteria

The HIT Standards Committee is meeting today to discuss the application of standards and certification criteria to the definition of “meaningful use” of health IT (EHR). No additional information is available at this time.

June 16 UPDATE – Definition of “Meaningful Use”

The HIT Policy Committee today offered some criteria that it feels should be part of the definition of “meaningful use”. You can view the Meaningful Use Workgroup’s June 16, 2009 update here.

April 16 UPDATE – Definition of “Meaningful Use”

A workgroup of the HIT Policy Committee has until June 16 to deliver its recommendations for a working definition of “meaningful use” of electronic health records. If the Committee approves the definition, it will be forwarded to ONCHIT for approval and adoption.

April 8 UPDATE – HIT Standards Committee and HIT Policy Committee

The HIT Standards Committee has received over 1,000 nominations, but as of today, no appointments have been made.

The HIT Policy Committee has made 13 of 20 appointments.

March 19 UPDATE – HIT Standards Committee and HIT Policy Committee

By law, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) must announce appointments to the HIT Standards Committee and HIT Policy Committee on or before March 31, 2009. ONCHIT has not been forthcoming with news about its progress toward filling these committee posts.

March 12 UPDATE – Continuing Role for CCHIT?

During a webinar today, CCHIT Chair Mark Leavitt said he is confident that HHS will select CCHIT as the certification body identified in the stimulus law because HHS has recognized CCHIT since 2006. He thinks there is not enough time to develop a new certification group because IT systems need to be certified within the next year to qualify for stimulus package bonuses.

March 11 UPDATE – Serve on Standards or Policy Committee

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is seeking nominations to the HIT Standards Committee and HIT Policy Committee, both created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The deadline for letters of nomination for both committees is March 16.  The e-mail address is  The postal address is Office of the National Coordinator, Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20201, Attention:  Judith Sparrow, Room 729D.

March 8 UPDATE – National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – Role in Developing HIT and EHR Standards

As part of the Economic Stimulus Package, the NIST will receive approximately $20 Billion to fund its development of HIT infrastructure structure and related standards, including those impacting Electronic Health Records (EHR).  You can access the NIST’s Project Statement here.

Feb. 26 UPDATE – “Billions for health records rest on NIST standards”

Great article from NextGov here.

Feb. 25 Original Post: Federal EHR Incentives – Required Certification

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Economic Stimulus Bill) provides financial incentives for physicians and other healthcare providers to adopt electronic health records (EHRs). Physicians, hospitals and health systems will be eligible for the incentives through implementation of their first EHR system or completion of an ongoing EHR project. However, in order to qualify for the incentive payments, a deployed EHR system must be “certified”.

The Certification Dilemma – The certification requirements necessary to qualify for the federal EHR incentives are not known yet and may not be defined until late 2009 (or later). As of today, the EHR certification provided by a nonprofit think tank, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), is the closest relevant certification standard in effect. But don’t necessarily rely on that certification to be the one adopted by the federal government when it decides what EHR systems will qualify for the financial incentives.

Stay Informed – On a weekly basis I will be tracking certification standards as they are promulgated by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT), including notice of “comments periods” during which members of the public are invited to comment upon proposed regulations.

If you want to stay abreast of these certification developments, check back often for additional details, or subscribe to the RSS feed below to automatically receive updates.

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Daschle Withdraws From HHS Secretary Post

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Former Senator Tom Daschle has withdrawn from the nomination to be Secretary of HHS, according to the Associated Press.

Underpaying his taxes, and his ties to healthcare industry market players, apparently did him in. Yesterday’s New York Times editorial calling for his withdrawal from nomination certainly did not help his cause.

So, who will Obama call up to lead the nation’s healthcare reform effort?

YOUR COMMENTS: Let us know what you think by expressing your opinion in the comments section below. You do not need to register in order to comment. If you do not see the comments window below, click on the title of this post.

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