Federal and State Government News Update


Edition Eighty-Four (02/22/12)

More Than $3 Billion Spent to Improve Digital Health Records
The Kansas City Star, 2/17/12
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the number of hospitals using EHRs has more than doubled in the last two years.

Obama Administration to Postpone Medical Coding Implementation

Wall Street Journal's Health Blog, 2/16/12
The Obama administration says it will delay the implementation of a controversial new medical coding standard known as ICD-10.

NIST Seeks Vendors' EHRs to Study Usability

Government Health IT, 2/15/12
The National Institute of Standards and Technology needs the help of vendors to supply their existing EHRs so the agency can conduct research on the systems to develop procedures for measuring and evaluating their usability.

ONC Gets $5M Bump Up in Proposed 2013 Budget

Government Health IT, 2/14/12
ONC would receive $66 million, or $5 million more than the current year, under President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal 2013.

71 Percent of Meaningful Use EHRs Are Dually Certified, Says CCHIT

Healthcare IT News, 2/13/12
More than two-thirds of the complete EHRs of providers and hospitals that have qualified for Meaningful Use incentives are dually certified under both the ONC-ATCB and the CCHIT Certified programs.

Mostashari Expects Big Year Ahead for Data Exchange

Healthcare IT News, 2/3/12
HIE will ramp up significantly in 2012 because the necessary elements of interoperability will be in place, according to ONC chief Farzad Mostashari. 

HHS Reports Progress on Telehealth Regulations

Fierce Health IT, 2/2/12
HHS is making significant progress toward new and revised rules, which would save the healthcare industry billions of dollars, including ones which will address privileging and credentialing and documentation regulations for both in-person and telemedicine visits, the agency reported.

AMA to Sebelius: Stop ICD-10

Health Data Management, 2/2/12
The American Medical Association, which is actively working to stop implementation of the ICD-10 code sets, has sent a letter to Kathleen Sebelius asking her to immediately halt the implementation process.

MGMA Asks HHS for More Time, Fixes to HIPAA 5010

Health Data Management, 2/2/12
The Medical Group Management Association has sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius outlining significant problems with federal reimbursement of claims following the transition to the HIPAA 5010 transaction sets.

Senator Udall Drafting Bill to Kill Telemedicine Barriers

Government Health IT, 2/2/12
Senator Tom Udall (D-UT) anticipates introducing a bill this spring to make it easier for physicians to practice telemedicine in many states instead of applying for a separate license for each state.

Commentary: ICD-10, Meaningful Use Not Aligned

Government Health IT, 2/1/12
There's a way to soften the impact that ICD-10 implementation has on your budget, and it involves working on ICD-10 and Meaningful Use compliance as the same project.

Hawaii Selects Medicity for Medical Record Network
Pacific Business News, 2/13/12
Hawaii officials have selected Utah-based Medicity to develop the infrastructure for what will ultimately be a statewide EHR system as Hawaii moves ahead with a key mandate of federal healthcare reform.

Massachusetts Senate to Offer Prescription Monitoring Bill
Boston.com, 1/31/12
The Massachusetts state Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill which would require physicians to check an online database before prescribing certain prescription painkillers.

New Data Shows Hospital Readiness for Stage 1 Meaningful Use Increasing
Healthcare IT News, 2/17/12
HIMSS Analytics data shows 60 percent of hospitals with more than 500 beds reported being ready or most likely to achieve Stage 1. By comparison, 20 percent of hospitals with fewer than 100 beds were ready or most likely to achieve Stage 1.

Interoperability Still a Barrier to Meaningful Use, Experts Find
Healthcare IT News, 2/16/12
Hospital adoption of EHRs has taken a leap over the past year, but interoperability is still a significant obstacle, according to survey.

NPWF: Strong Support for Health I.T., But Also Concerns

Healthcare IT News, 2/16/12
As patients see their physicians use EHRs more, their trust in their doctors is is high, and so is their confidence in health I.T.'s potential to improve care, according to a new survey.

Technology Helps Government Recoup $4B in Medicare, Medicaid Fraud

Healthcare IT News, 2/15/12
The efforts to curtail healthcare fraud have returned $4.1 billion to U.S. taxpayers in 2011, largely because of I.T., according to a new report from HHS and the Department of Justice.

EHR Alerts Contribute to Information Overload for Doctors

iHealthbeat, 2/15/12
On average, fewer than 20 percent of the words contained in EHR alerts are considered to be relevant, according to a study.

U.S. Seen as Among Health I.T. Leaders

Modern Healthcare, subscription required, 2/15/12
The U.S. appears to be holding its own in healthcare I.T. use and adoption by physicians compared with physicians in Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Singapore, and Spain, according to a study.

Report: Meaningful Use Drives Overall Market for Handheld Devices

CMIO, 2/14/12
The handheld device market's more than 10 percent growth since 2007 to $11 billion in 2011 has been fueled by many factors, including Meaningful Use requirements, according to a report.

Interoperable I.T. Crucial for ACOs

InformationWeek, 2/13/12
Properly implemented, interoperable health I.T. is essential to the functions of ACOs, according to a recent report.

2016: Three Million Patients Monitored Over Cellular Networks
Mobile Health News, 2/1/12
By 2016 the number of patients monitored over mobile networks will hit three million, according to a new study.

Docs Use iPads, But Don't See Them as Game-Changers

Healthcare IT News, 2/1/12
A new survey indicates physicians are embracing mobile health devices, but don’t see them changing the healthcare landscape just yet.

EHR Deployment Costs Approach $30,000 Per Doctor

InformationWeek, 2/1/12
More than half of physician practices with three or more doctors have fully implemented an EHR system, although many of their EHR systems have limited capabilities, according to a recent survey.

E-Prescribing Could Save $240 Billion

InformationWeek, 2/2/12 
E-prescribing could help reduce healthcare expenditures by $140 billion to $240 billion over the next 10 years by improving patient adherence to medication regimens, according to a new study.