MU Workgroup Readies Final Recommendations, Creates Hybrid Criterion. The Meaningful Use Workgroup met Wednesday for the third time in as many weeks. This meeting comes ahead of a HIT Policy Committee (HITPC) meeting next Wednesday where the workgroup will be submitting recommendations for Stage 2 meaningful use.MU Workgroup Readies Final Recommendations, Creates Hybrid Criterion. The Meaningful Use Workgroup met Wednesday for the third time in as many weeks. This meeting comes ahead of a HIT Policy Committee (HITPC) meeting next Wednesday where the workgroup will be submitting recommendations for Stage 2 meaningful use. Already discussed in previous Advocacy Corners , the MU Workgroup is expected to recommend a delay in Stage 2 by one year. This would affect any eligible professional or eligible hospital who attested in 2011 by giving them an extra year’s worth of payments (in 2013) for meeting Stage 1. Of particular interest in this week’s meeting was the subject of a “Summary and Care Plan.” This Summary of Care Plan would “subsume a number of criteria under one criterion,” according to a draft document presented during the meeting. (This draft will be revised prior to the HITPC meeting).
The newly envisioned criteria would collapse a measure required for Stage 1, while also combining criteria being discussed for Stage 2. Stemming from Stage 1 is the EP clinical summary standards (which will be joined by EH summary standards in Stage 2). Also being lumped into the concept of a Summary of Care Plan is a care team member list and a care plan—which is an additional field in the summary standards for a free-text “goals” field.
According to preliminary debate within the workgroup, there would be two separate criteria for EHs: (1) 20 percent of all patients have a summary and care plan recorded or updated; and (2) 10 percent of EHs transmit and/or receive a summary and care plan, where the denominator is based on the number of admissions that have a care team present. The transmission criterion caused a bit of discomfort among some in the workgroup, but others said it served as the only HIE preamble in Stage 2.
The MU workgroup will send final recommendations, along with a narrative letter, to the HIT Policy Committee for their meeting June 8. Meanwhile, CMS has begun dispersal of Electronic Health Records Incentive Program funds. A list of recipients can be found by following this link (.pdf).
New HIPAA Regs Would Create Two New ‘Rights’ and CHIME’s PSC Gets First Look. Delivering a Memorial Weekend present, HHS’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (.pdf) last Friday that would create two new HIPAA provisions of particular import to the health IT industry. Under the proposed rules, hospitals and other covered entities would have to produce (1) Access Reports and (2) an Accounting of Disclosures upon request from patients. According to OCR, these two items “would be distinct but complementary.” OCR envisions that an Access Report would list information on who has accessed electronic protected health information, including the date, time (approximate), name of person who received the protected health information and the action taken – i.e. “viewed,” “deleted,” or “created.” This report would only involve electronic, not paper-based, records. An Accounting of Disclosures would include more information about a disclosure (whether hard-copy or electronic) to persons outside the covered entity and its business associates “for certain disclosures that are most likely to impact the individual.” CHIME’s Policy Steering Committee has already identified a number of issues within the minutia of this 100-plus page NPRM. Be on the lookout for more on this topic as the comment period nears its August 1 closing date.