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Health IT Policy Committee Eyes 2014 Work Plan

February 4, 2014
by David Raths
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Rulemaking for Stage 3 MU to take center stage

At the Feb. 4 meeting of the federal advisory Health IT Policy Committee, co-chair Paul Tang, M.D., described the ongoing development of Stage 3 meaningful use measures and heard feedback from committee members. He also outlined a draft plan of the projects on the plates of the committee’s work groups for the rest of 2014. Topping that list is meaningful use Stage 3. The work plan calls for the Policy Committee to approve Stage 3 recommendations in March, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from CMS in the fall, and a final rule in the first half of 2015, to become effective in 2017.

After the work plan presentation and discussion, National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, M.D., summarized the discussion by agreeing with several committee members who suggested zeroing in on a few clear policy goals first over a longer period of time to guide the priorities and schedules of the work groups in 2014.

Here are some of the items presented as on the work group agendas so far:

Meaningful Use: In the second quarter, the MU Work group will hold hearings on MU experiences of 2012 Stage 1 attesters and 2014 Stage 2 attesters.

Certification/Adoption: The C/A group plans to hold hearings in the first quarter on certification for long-term and post-acute care and behavioral health settings.

Consumer Empowerment: In 2014, this group will look at unsolicited patient-generated health data, interoperable Direct e-mail addresses for patients, and shared care plans, as well as disparities.

Privacy & Security: The Privacy & Security Work Group plans to look at policy implementation issues concerning personal representatives and/or proxies in the first quarter and business associate data practices in the second quarter. Later it will take up improving patient right of access in an electronic environment and the security policy issues concerning PHRs pulling data from provider systems (Blue Button +).

Quality Measures: The Quality Measures Work Group will make Stage 3 recommendations about criteria for quality measures. It also plans to study the feasibility and value of “plug-and-play” quality measures and the role of intermediaries or registries in reporting quality measures.