Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announces HHS plans to accelerate health information exchange (HIE) primarily through the use of electronic health records systems.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are improving the way care is delivered while lowering costs,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “We are already seeing benefits, such as a reduction in hospital readmissions due to these reforms.”
This year, HHS will:
Set aggressive goals for 2013: HHS is setting the goal of 50 percent of physician offices using electronic health records (EHR) and 80 percent of eligible hospitals receiving meaningful use incentive payments for using electronic health records (EHR) by the end of 2013.
Increase the emphasis on interoperability: HHS will increase its emphasis on ensuring electronic exchange across providers. It will start that effort by issuing today a request for information (RFI) seeking public input about a variety of policies that will strengthen the business case for electronic exchange across providers to ensure patients’ health information will follow them seamlessly and securely wherever they access care.
Enhance the effective use of electronic health records through initiatives like the Blue Button initiative. Medicare beneficiaries can access their full Medicare records online today. HHS is working with the Veterans Administration and more than 450 different organizations to make health care information available to patients and health plan members. HHS is also encouraging Medicare Advantage plans to expand the use of Blue Button to provide beneficiaries with one-click secure access to their health information.
Implement Meaningful Use Stage 2 for using electronic health records (EHR) systems: HHS is implementing rules that define what data must be able to be exchanged between Health IT systems, including how data will be structured and coded so that providers will have one uniform way to format and securely send data.
Underscoring program integrity: HHS is taking new steps to ensure the integrity of the program is sound and technology is not being used to game the system. For example, it is conducting extensive medical reviews and issuing Comparative Billing reports that identify providers.
These goals build on the significant progress HHS and its partners have already made on expanding health information technology use. Electronic health records adoption has tripled since 2010, increasing to 44 percent in 2012 and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) has more than doubled (increased 168 percent) since 2008.
“The 2014 standards for electronic health records create the technical capacity for providers to be able to share information with each other and with the patient,” said Dr. Mostashari. ”