Skip to content Skip to navigation

Breaking News: Final Rule Grants Clinicians More Flexibility to Meet Meaningful Use

July 13, 2010
by root
| Reprints

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator announced today the final meaningful use rule in Washington, D.C. which allows more flexibility for hospitals and clinicians to qualify than the proposed rule did. Through the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, incentive payments totaling up to $27 billion will be administered over 10 years to create a nationwide system of electronic health records (EHR).

The announcement was made this morning by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D., National Coordinator for Health Information Technology David Blumenthal, M.D., Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D. and others. Special guest, artist Regina Holiday, shared a particularly poignant personal experience of getting lost in the paper shuffle of health records as her husband died of cancer.

In a drive toward a paperless health system, the final rule took into account 2,000 comments made on the proposed meaningful use requirements issued on January 16. Above all, the ONC added flexibility to the ruling and composed a regulation with two-groups of objectives: a set of 15 core objectives for eligible providers and 14 for hospitals for implementing EHRs (The proposed rule had previously laid out 23 objectives for hospitals and 25 for clinicians.) and a separate a la carte menu of 10 additional important activities from which providers and hospitals will choose five to implement in 2011 and 2012.

The core objectives menu consists of essential functions including entering basic data like patients’ vital signs and demographics, maintaining an active medication allergy list, and creating up-to-date problem lists of current and active diagnoses, and capturing smoking status. In addition to the core elements, the second group lists 10 additional tasks, from which providers can choose any 5 to implement, such as performing drug-formulary checks, incorporating clinical laboratory results into EHRs, and providing patient-specific health education resources.

In 2011 and 2012 clinicians will have to report data on three core quality measures: blood-pressure level, tobacco status, and adult weight screening and follow-up. The clinicians in addition have to choose three other measures from metrics lists to incorporate into their EHR.

“As a physician of a certain age I was forced to learn to use an EHR, and I saw it make me a better doctor. I saw it help me avoid medication errors, I saw it help me avoid duplicative tests, and I saw that those types of changes could bend the quality curve up and cost curve down, without any compromising of the integrity of doctors and nurses,” said Dr. Blumenthal. “That’s why I’m here and doing this work—there are almost no physicians who go back once they start using one.”


Topics

News

Survey: Cloud Technologies Helping Healthcare Organizations Improve Productivity, Efficiency

September 23, 2016
Ninety-five percent of current healthcare organization cloud infrastructure users are planning to increase their usage going forward, and among healthcare organizations not using cloud today, 58 percent of respondents said they are likely to do so in the next two years.

Study Finds Wide Variability in Effectiveness of CPOE Tools in Pediatric Hospitals

September 23, 2016
Researchers investigating the safety of CPOE systems at pediatric inpatient facilities found that while systems on average are able to intercept a majority of potential medication errors, their effectiveness varied widely among implementations.

Saint Francis Health System Acknowledges Breach, but Doesn’t Pay Ransom

September 22, 2016
Despite acknowledging that it had been the victim of a data breach involving ransomware earlier this month, the Tulsa, Okla.-based Saint Francis Health System decided not to act on the ransom demand, according to media reports.

Indian Health Service Awards $6.8 Million Contract to Avera Health for Telemedicine Services

September 22, 2016
Avera Health, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based health system will provide telemedicine services for seven hospitals and eight health centers within the Indian Health Service (IHS), as part of $6.8 million contract.

Provider Associations Laud Bipartisan, ACO-Focused Legislation

September 22, 2016
Four major healthcare professional associations on Thursday publicly expressed support for legislation aimed at modifying the Medicare Shared Savings Program for ACOs in order to ease providers’ concerns

AMIA Seeks Out Support for Health IT Safety Strategy, other Innovation Initiatives

September 22, 2016
The Bethesda, Md.-based American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) took to Capitol Hill this week seeking Congressional support for a national health IT safety strategy, as well as to fund efforts such as the Precision Medicine and Cancer Moonshot Initiatives.

Dr. Mostashari Gives “Report from the Field” Inside Look on Aledade ACOs

September 21, 2016
Farzad Mostashari, M.D., founder of Aledade, a company focused on physician-led accountable care organizations (ACOs), co-published a report this week looking at the highs and lows of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs in light of recent performance results released by the government.

Dignity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives Collaborating on Precision Medicine Program

September 21, 2016
San Francisco-based Dignity Health and the Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) are collaborating on a large, community-based precision medicine program that could be available to approximately 12 million patients annually.

Walgreens Adds Teledermatology to its Digital Health Platform

September 21, 2016
Walgreens has developed a skin care platform that will be available digitally through Walgreens.com and the Walgreens mobile app and includes a connection to teledermatology services.

Study: 30 Percent of Patient Data Breaches Involve Business Associates

September 21, 2016
So far in 2016, third-party data breaches have impacted 4.5 million patients, indicating that third-party business associates pose an alarming risk to patient data, according to a new report from Protenus and DataBreaches.net.

Surescripts to Offer EHR Vendors Free Use of Record Locator Service until 2019

September 20, 2016
Surescripts, the Arlington, Va.-based operator of a national clinical electronic network, has announced that it will offer electronic health records (EHR) software vendors free access to its National Record Locator Service (NRLS) until 2019.

USDA Announces Funding for Seven Telemedicine Projects in Rural Areas

September 20, 2016
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding funds to seven telemedicine projects in rural areas to expand access to healthcare and substance misuse treatment.

FDA Launches Competition for Development of Naloxone App

September 20, 2016
In an effort to spur innovation around the development of a mobile phone app to help combat opioid overdose, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a Naloxone App Competition.

Early Results of Bundled Payments Model Indicate Reduced Costs, Improved Quality for Several Clinical Episodes, CMS Says

September 19, 2016
The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative has shown promising results to reduce Medicare spending in 11 out of 15 clinical episode groups, according to an analysis of the program in CMS's second annual evaluation report.

FBI Urges Organizations to Report Ransomware Incidents to Federal Law Enforcement

September 19, 2016
The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a public service announcement last week urging victims to report ransomware attacks to law enforcement to help the FBI gain a more comprehensive view of the current threat.

Pages