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CHIME Supports New Pathways for Meaningful Use in 2014

Nation’s CIOs ask for swift finalization of proposed rule with ‘common sense’ amendments
ANN ARBOR, MI, June 30, 2014 - In comments submitted Friday, June 27 on proposed “Modifications to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs for 2014,” the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) offered general support of program changes, but requested additional revisions and clarifications to maintain momentum of the federal initiative.

Comments from the professional association of healthcare CIOs and IT leaders said additional flexibility is needed because changes proposed for the Meaningful Use incentive program were only first released in late May, limiting the amount of time providers have to react to changes.

“CHIME supports the new pathways as defined in the proposed rule,” the letter read. “We believe these options will provide needed flexibility for EHR optimization, encourage continued participation in the program and help maintain the upward trajectory of EHR adoption in the US.”

One of CHIME’s primary requests is that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allow providers to choose any three-month quarter for an EHR reporting period in the next federal fiscal year or calendar year to qualify for Meaningful Use in 2015. As currently structured, the program requires providers to report a full year of data to qualify for incentives.

“We believe this change will have a dramatically positive effect on program participation and policy outcomes sought in 2015,” CHIME’s comments noted. “The additional time afforded by this modification would help hundreds of thousands of providers meet Stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner.”

“We are grateful for the agencies’ acknowledgement that 2014 has been an extremely challenging year for the industry,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO.  “The new pathways created by this NPRM will enable many hospitals and physicians to capitalize on progress made to date. However, the benefits of this new flexibility will be immediately lost if 2015 reporting requirements are not tempered.  Carrying forward the 2014 policy requiring providers submit data covering one quarter of their choosing in 2015 is common sense.”

Additional flexibility is needed because of the continued industry-wide strain to implement information technology in time to meet ongoing requirements of the program, CHIME contended. “Because there is such limited capacity for the industry to absorb ongoing technology upgrades and process changes, CHIME implores CMS to allow 3-month quarter EHR reporting options in 2015.”

CHIME’s comments also asked that the agencies delete ambiguous attestation requirements related to the definition of “fully implemented” Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT). “A number of CHIME members have indicated their apprehension to take advantage of the new pathways created by this NPRM (because of) how this proposed rule defines ‘full implementation’ of CEHRT since the examples do not adequately represent their situation,” CHIME stated.

“Given the industry’s experience with Meaningful Use audits, there is a lot of anxiety over how such a requirement would be validated,” said CHIME Board Chair Randy McCleese, FCHIME, LCHIME, CHCIO, Vice President of Information Services and CIO at Moorhead, Kentucky-based St. Claire Regional Medical Center.  “The fear generated by meaningless audits can be crippling for small and rural organizations like ours. Ambiguity in what constitutes ‘full CEHRT implementation’ defeats the primary intent of this NPRM – namely, to encourage continued participation in the program.”

Overall, CHIME believes “these new pathways will provide much-needed relief to hundreds of thousands of providers struggling to meet MU requirements in 2014, due to circumstances beyond their control,” but CHIME is asking agencies to “explicitly state its intentions to let providers meet MU requirements retrospectively in 2014, if they are able.”

Finally, CHIME offered its support of the one-year extension of Stage 2 for providers that first qualified as meaningful users of EHR technology in 2011 and 2012. “This is a necessary extension to give policymakers time to evaluate past experience and incorporate lessons learned into the third Stage of Meaningful Use,” CHIME stated.

“From Day One, CHIME has been an adamant supporter of Meaningful Use, and we remain supporters to this day,” said Branzell. “Our comments and recommendations are pragmatic and meant to ensure that industry, government and taxpayer investments are properly managed.  We are confident that if CMS makes these common sense changes, we can realize the benefits of a modern, connected healthcare system.”

The full text of CHIME’s response to the proposed modifications to the Meaningful Use program can be found at http://www.cio-chime.org/advocacy/resources/download/CHIME_Response_to_Modifications_MU_2014_Final.pdf

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and more than 130 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

June 30, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

CMS Rule to Change EHR Certification Requirement and Meaningful Use Stage 2 Schedule

Rule also proposes to extend Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs through 2016

Today, HHS published a new proposed rule that would provide eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use. The proposed rule, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), would let providers use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Beginning in 2015, all eligible hospitals and professionals would still be required to report using 2014 Edition CEHRT. Since the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs began in 2011, more than 370,000 hospitals and professionals nationwide have received an incentive payment.

“We have seen tremendous participation in the EHR Incentive Programs since they began,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “By extending Stage 2, we are being receptive to stakeholder feedback to ensure providers can continue to meet meaningful use and keep momentum moving forward.”

The proposed rule also includes a provision that would formalize CMS and ONC’s previously stated intention to extend Stage 2 through 2016 and begin Stage 3 in 2017. These proposed changes would address concerns raised by stakeholders and will encourage the continued adoption of Certified EHR Technology.

“Increasing the adoption of EHRs is key to improving the nation’s health care system and the steps we are taking today will give new options to those who, through no fault of their own, have been unable to get the new 2014 Edition technology, including those at high risk, such as smaller providers and rural hospitals,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H, M.Sc., national coordinator for health information technology.

Proposed changes to meaningful use timeline

New Meaningful Use and EHR Certification Timelines - Meaningful Use Stage 2 Delay

For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs, please visit http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms. For more information about CEHRT, please visit http://www.healthit.gov.

May 20, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Accreditor for ONC Health IT Certification Program approved for second term

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has approved the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for a second three-year term as the ONC-Approved Accreditor (ONC-AA) for the ONC Health Information Technology Certification Program.

ONC certifies electronic health record (EHR) technology products to ensure they meet the standards to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health information technology and electronic health information exchange.

EHR products that have been successfully tested by a National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program Accredited Testing Laboratory are certified under this program. The ONC-AA accredits the certification bodies that seek to serve as ONC-Authorized Certification Bodies (ONC-ACBs) under this program and ensures that they continue to meet requirements necessary to maintain accreditation.

ANSI was approved as the ONC-AA after a competitive process that included an evaluation against a specific set of requirements. The requirements include conformance to ISO/IEC 17011 (General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies), and sexperience evaluating conformance of certification bodies to ISO Guide 65 (General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems).

ONC’s goal is to give assurance to EHR developers, users, and the general public that certified products meet and maintain the functionalities required for certification.

May 14, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Statement from CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell FCHIME, CHCIO and CHIME Board Chairman Randy McCleese FCHIME, CHCIO

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) welcomes CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner’s announcement this morning, acknowledging the need to provide relief for our nation’s providers.  Such relief is vitally important for the future success of Meaningful Use, as ICD-10 deadlines and continued shifts in payment policies demand an ever-increasing amount of IT and workforce resources.  If the expansion of the office’s EHR Hardship Exceptions provides the kind of relief the industry desperately needs, CHIME pledges to assist policymakers in every way possible.  Should CMS choose to define the new hardship exceptions in a way that does not address the core concerns of our industry we will continue to seek the kind of flexibility that nearly 50 national healthcare organizations communicated to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on February 21, 2014.

Policy leaders at CHIME pledge to continue their work with CMS and ONC to chart a course that drives interoperability and patient engagement, and facilitates delivery transformation.  It will be CHIME’s highest policy priority to ensure that providers receive the kind of relief they need in order to deliver quality care.

February 27, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

2014 Edition EHR Tests, Certifications in Full Swing – Drummond Group

Our commitment to ONC MU Program Remains Strong

CCHIT recently announced that it will no longer offer ONC testing and certification services, and predictably, we have had numerous inquiries on related matters, such as our future in the ONC program and thoughts on the 2014 Edition criteria. We wanted to issue a single response to address these questions.

First, the process of changing from one ACB to another is well defined under the ONC program and supporting ISO guidelines for certification bodies. There is nothing “new” or “special” about the process. Any EHR software vendor may request its certification(s) be moved to another accredited certification body. Starting point for joining Drummond Group is going to our website and submitting a certification-only registration, or if you are needing testing as well, for example, to go from an EHR Module to a Complete EHR, register for testing as well.

Second, while the 2014 Edition program is certainly more challenging than the previous criteria, we are very comfortable with the requirements and our ability to support our customers in their pursuit of certification. To date, Drummond Group has tested and certified approximately 60 percent of all 2014 Edition Complete EHRs and nearly 50 percent of all 2014 Edition certified EHRs on the ONC CHPL. We offer WAVE testing options to break out the testing activities over a period of time, tutorial videos on every criteria with other supporting documents, Dry Run testing options and unmatched one-on-one support with our highly trained technical proctors.

And finally, Drummond Group will continue with 2014 Edition Testing and Certification, and we plan on being an ONC-ACB and authorized testing lab for the foreseeable future. We are not in EHR testing for the short term, but rather, the long haul. This was true when we said it in 2010 and it is true now. We are excited about the future of HIT testing and the ONC certification program.

We look forward to working with you in the near future and welcome your feedback anytime.

January 29, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Encore Health Resources CoreANALYTICS Architecture Receives 2014 EHR Certification

HOUSTON – January 17, 2014Encore Health Resources announced today that its CoreANALYTICS® 1.0 architecture – a set of integrated analytical tools that help drive continuous health-system performance improvement – has been listed on the federal government’s Certified Health IT Product List website as compliant with the ONC 2014 Edition criteria as an EHR Module.  The CoreANALYTICS EHR certification formally occurred on November 27, 2013 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an ONC-ACB, in accordance with the certification criteria adopted by the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The ONC 2014 Edition criteria support both Stages 1 and 2 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

CoreANALYTICS is a set of integrated analytical tools that, coupled with Encore services, helps to drive continuous health-system performance improvement through the application of “smart, skinny data,” or an Encore approach that focuses on capturing just the data required to solve specific problems.

“We believe this certification confirms that Encore’s CoreANALYTICS software tools are poised to assist health systems meet and exceed thresholds for the quality and performance measures required to qualify for U.S. Government EHR Meaningful-Use incentive payments and avoid associated penalties – as well as manage emerging, at-risk government and commercial payment models” said Sherie Giles, Partner for Research and Development, Encore Health Resources. “CoreANALYTICS comprises a uniquely comprehensive solution that transforms data generated by EHRs as well as financial and operational systems, into actionable intelligence for proactive management of patient populations, quality, and costs.  This helps providers navigate through and beyond challenges posed by the healthcare industry’s rapid shift from fee-for-service to fee-for value care-delivery and reimbursement models.”

The ONC HIT Certification Program certifies that EHR Modules meet one or more – but not all – of the 2014 Edition criteria approved by the Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) for either eligible provider or hospital technology.

“CCHIT congratulates companies successfully achieving EHR technology certification,” said Alisa Ray, executive director, CCHIT.  “These companies are now able to make their products available to providers wishing to adopt health IT to demonstrate meaningful use and earn federal incentives.”

CoreANALYTICS 1.0’s certification number is CC-2014-100098-1.  ONC HIT certification conferred by CCHIT does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

CoreANALYTICS 1.0’s modular certification qualifies the technology as capable of supporting achievement of meaningful use for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. The technology is also differentiated by its analytics engine – included in the certification — which enriches information through proven data derivation and measure calculations, successfully demonstrated compliance criteria for Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) and Utilization Measures (Core/Menu Set).

CoreANALYTICS 1.0 met the following certification criteria and clinical quality measures: § 170.314(c)(1), capture and export; 170.314(c)(2), incorporate and calculate; § 170.314(c)(3), electronic submission; § 170.314(g)(2), automated measure calculation; and § 170.314(g)(4) quality management system.  It also met the following clinical quality measures:  CMS55v2, CMS71v3, CMS72v2, CMS73v2, CMS91v3, CMS102v2, CMS104v2, CMS105v2, CMS107v2, CMS108v2, CMS109v2, CMS110v2, CMS111v2, CMS114v2 and CMS190v2.

Additional costs incurred may include:  Software License Agreement; Implementation fees per source system, including install, training, and source system connectivity; any client costs necessary to bring hardware to recommended configuration.

About Encore Health Resources

Encore Health Resources is one of the most successful consulting firms in the health information technology (HIT) industry.  Founded in 2009 and led by Encore CEO Dana Sellers and President Tom Niehaus, the company provides consulting services and solutions that assist its expanding client base with a wide range of HIT strategy, advisory, implementation, process-redesign, and optimization initiatives.  Encore focuses on capturing the right data at the right time, establishing analytical capabilities that meet the evolving information and reporting needs of healthcare providers to document and improve clinical and operational performance. For more information, please visit http://encorehealthresources.com/.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501©3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and is authorized by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) as a certification body (ONC-ACB).  CCHIT is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a certification body for the ONC HIT Certification Program for electronic health record (EHR) technology and accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an accredited Testing Laboratory (ATL) to test EHRS.  More Information on CCHIT and its programs is available at http://cchit.org.

January 16, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

HIMSS Statement on Dr. Karen DeSalvo’s Appointment as National Coordinator for Health IT

Washington, DC (December 19, 2013) – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has made an excellent selection in appointing Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc  as the new National Coordinator for Health IT, replacing Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, who left the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in early October 2013. Dr. DeSalvo, who currently serves as the Health Commissioner for the City of New Orleans and Senior Health Policy Advisor to Mayor Mitch Landrieu, will join ONC on January 13, 2014.

HIMSS notes Dr. DeSalvo’s long history of leadership in bringing the benefits of health IT to Louisiana. She served as President of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, the Louisiana lead for the state’s health information exchange and regional extension center grants, and was a member of the Steering Committee for the Crescent City Beacon Community grant.  She also advocated for expanded use of health IT by New Orleans’ primary care providers, and ensured that the city’s newest public hospital will utilize a fully-integrated health IT network.

Dr. DeSalvo, who spoke at HIMSS13 in New Orleans earlier this year, has a deep understanding of the value of informatics, as well as of the challenges and promise of interoperability. That insight will be essential as she transitions to lead ONC’s efforts to assist U.S. clinicians and healthcare organizations as they move into Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.

HIMSS looks forward to collaborating with Dr. DeSalvo and the entire ONC team, as we work to underscore the value of health IT as a foundational resource in achieving healthcare transformation.

 

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology. HIMSS is a part of HIMSS WorldWide, a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS WorldWide encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause.  HIMSS WorldWide, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

December 19, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Meaningful Use Timeline Shift Does Not Afford Flexibility in 2014

ANN ARBOR, MI, December 6, 2013– The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has confirmed with HHS officials that the proposed Meaningful Use Stage 2 extension / Stage 3 delay does not change front-end requirements for Meaningful Use in 2014 and does not afford much needed flexibility to providers working to install and upgrade new technology.

While CHIME believes that the federal agency’s announcement Friday gives vendors and policymakers flexibility to ensure the outcomes sought in Stage 3 are realized, we are disappointed that it does not provide the flexibility for providers requested in previous recommendations. CHIME strongly urges CMS to consider previous recommendations to give eligible hospitals and eligible professionals flexibility in meeting the start date of Stage 2. CHIME reiterates its belief that some providers will need an additional year to install, test, implement and operationalize the new certified EHR software.

In 2014, more than 500,000 hospitals and physicians are required to upgrade or adopt, new technology to meet Meaningful Use requirements.  Technology required in 2014 as part of Meaningful Use will enable clinicians across the country to better coordinate care, manage population health and drive efficiencies across care settings – but only if the technology implementation is appropriately timed and the change-process effectively managed.

“There is a perfect storm brewing,” said Russ Branzell, CHIME’s CEO.  “With ICD-10 compliance coming into view, with HIPAA compliance demanding renewed attention and with all the activities associated with the Affordable Care Act converging in 2014, providers are nearing a breaking point.  Flexibility of the kind announced today is beneficial for Stage 3, but Stage 2 start-date flexibility is needed to ensure long-term success.”

CHIME announced its policy recommendations to extend allowable reporting periods for Meaningful Use last May.  Since then, a group of US Senators communicated their concerns to HHS, as well as a host of other providers including the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Health Information Management System Society, American College of Physicians, National Rural Health Association, Medical Group Management Association, and Academy of American Family Physicians have sought more time to meet Meaningful Use in 2014.

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 100 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org

December 6, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

HIMSS Supports Stage 2 Extension

Washington, DC (December 6, 2013) – HIMSS is gratified that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT have heard concerns from health stakeholders and extended Meaningful Use Stage 2 by one year.  This additional time to attest offers an opportunity for increased feedback and analysis on technology implementation, eClinical Quality Measure reporting, and progress toward interoperability that will enhance the ability of eligible hospitals and eligible professionals to meaningfully use health IT, and thus improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of patient care.

In August, HIMSS issued a Call For Action recommending launching Stage 2 Meaningful Use on-schedule and extending Year 1 of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation period, allowing at least 18 months in which Eligible Hospitals (EHs) and Eligible Providers (EPs) can attest to Meaningful Use requirements for one quarter.  HIMSS shared its position on extending the deadline for Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation in an Aug. 15 letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner; and then-National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. Farzad Mostashari.

The latest data from the more than 5,400 hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics database indicate clear challenges for eligible hospitals and tethered ambulatory care facilities preparing for Meaningful Use Stage 2.  These data show:

  • Up to 72 percent of eligible hospitals, and
  • 44 percent of tethered ambulatory facilities

have purchased the necessary software to attest to the 2014 Certification requirements.  We continue to monitor the important issue of upgrades to the correct certified version.

HIMSS looks forward to working with the government and continuing to engage our stakeholders, chapters, events, and resources to ensure the effective adoption and implementation of electronic health records for improved patient care.

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology.
HIMSS is a part of HIMSS WorldWide, a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS WorldWide encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause.  HIMSS WorldWide, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

CHIME Praises Senators for Urging HHS Extension to Meaningful Use Stage 2

ANN ARBOR, MI, September 24, 2013 – The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) praised several Senators today for their letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging the Department to extend Stage 2 Meaningful Use by one year.

CHIME believes the extension of Stage 2 will give providers sufficient time to meet new program requirements, while maintaining software development and deployment deadlines, and it will better enable patients to receive the benefits of an e-enabled U.S. healthcare system.

“We strongly believe that EHR incentive payments under the policy of Meaningful Use have been essential in moving the nation’s healthcare system into the 21st Century,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell FCHIME, CHCIO. “Since we began this conversation last May, our belief was the industry would best be served by maximizing the opportunity of program success, which means maximizing participation in Meaningful Use. This letter is an important step towards seeing that opportunity seized.”

In May of this year, CHIME responded to a Senate report entitled, “REBOOT: Re-examining the Strategies Needed to Successfully Adopt Health IT,” by outlining the numerous ways hospitals and clinicians are making great strides in EHR adoption with the help of federal incentive payments. “The work accomplished through Meaningful Use to reach consensus on transport, vocabulary and content standards is foundational to advancing interoperability and exchange,” CHIME wrote. “Additionally, we know that many U.S. hospitals and physicians rely on the expectation of incentive monies in executing their business plans for EHRs and interoperability solutions.”

But CHIME also acknowledged a need to evaluate program results and monitor timelines to ensure program success in subsequent Stages. For example, CMS had spent over $15.1billion through May 2013, with more than 50 percent of eligible hospitals (EHs) and over 30 percent of eligible professionals (EPs) having achieved Stage 1 Meaningful Use. Currently, 70 percent of hospitals and 46 percent of EPs have achieved Stage 1 Meaningful Use, or approximately 240,500 hospitals and physicians.

“With this great success comes an obligation to ensure that those who have started down the path do not miss the end goal,” said Sharon F. Canner, Senior Director of CHIME Public Policy. “Some 500,000 providers will be required to use new technology in 2014, regardless of Stage, and many providers simply will not have the time to upgrade software in a safe, responsible manner to meet Meaningful Use criteria.”

In its May letter, CHIME formally and strongly recommended a one year extension to the Meaningful Use reporting requirements in 2014, arguing that providers need more time to optimize EHR technology and flexibility to achieve the benefits of 2014 Edition EHRs and Stage 2 requirements. CHIME has developed a number of policy recommendations and educational resources, available here.

By the end of August, several provider associations echoed CHIME’s call for an extension, including a joint letter from the American Hospital Association and American Medical Association, and letters from the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Health Information Management Systems Society, the National Rural Health Association and the Medical Group Management Association.

“These 17 Senators have evaluated program data, heard from constituents and acted in a responsible manner by issuing their request to HHS Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius,” said Branzell. “The tenor of Senate’s letter echoes that of CHIME and others who desperately want this program to succeed, but also know that some changes are needed.”

“We look forward to continuing our work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Office of the National Coordinator, and members of the House and Senate to ensure that the nation’s hospitals and physicians achieve the benefits of an e-enabled healthcare system.”

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 100 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

September 24, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.