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Nation’s Providers Recommend More Time, Flexibility for Meaningful Use in 2014

Healthcare CIOs continue to voice challenges related to 2014 ‘time crunch’

ANN ARBOR, MI, February 24, 2014 – In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and forty-seven other of the nation’s largest healthcare provider organizations issued a joint call for additional time and flexibility in the Meaningful Use program to ensure its continued success.

While underscoring the Meaningful Use program’s invaluable role in advancing technology adoption among hospitals and physicians, the letter states that strict adherence to current program requirements endangers overall success of the EHR program, disrupts providers’ healthcare operations and potentially jeopardizes patient safety.

“Given that we have just celebrated the anniversary of HITECH, we can look back at the last five years with great pride and take stock of how far we’ve come – as an industry and as a nation,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell FCHIME, CHCIO. “But we must look ahead and recognize the immense work in front of us. Now is the time to make much-needed course corrections to ensure that we continue this success well past HITECH’s tenth anniversary.”

The letter reiterates many points made by several organizations dating back to May 2013, including letters from CHIME; the American Hospital Association (AHA); the American Medical Association (AMA); the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA); the American College of Physicians (ACP); the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP); and the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).

The latest letter, the first to be issued jointly by more than 40 organizations, comes in response to concerns that the nation’s 5,000 hospitals and 550,000 eligible professionals must adopt the latest certified versions of EHR technology and meet more difficult program requirements to remain in compliance with the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program. Hospitals only have until July to adopt, implement, test and train staff to meet either Stage 1 or Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements in 2014. Eligible professionals have until October to begin collecting data to attest to meeting program requirements.

“Failure to do so will not only result in a loss of incentive payments, but also the imposition of significant penalties,” the letter states, adding that, “it is clear the pace and scope of change have outstripped the ability of vendors to support providers.”

“Providers need adequate time to learn how to use the newly deployed technology,” the letter said, noting that implementing EHRs has wide implications for staffing, workflow and care delivery practices. “If providers move forward, as dictated by the current policy, our concerns regarding rushed implementations are heightened. Furthermore, we believe that an ‘all or nothing’ approach – where missing a single objective by even a small amount results in failure for the program year – compounds our concerns.”

The current structure of the system essentially leaves providers with two options, said Branzell. “Providers will either abandon any hope of meeting Meaningful Use criteria this year, or they’ll be forced to implement a system more rapidly than they would otherwise. The first option works against everything the federal program has sought to achieve over the first two years, while the second option is inefficient and endangers patient safety.”

The letter seeks an extension through 2015 for providers to implement 2014 Edition Certified EHR software, and meet program requirements for either Stage 1 or Stage 2. It also requests flexibility in the scorecard used to assess completion of meaningful use requirements to enable as many providers as possible to successfully meet program requirements.

CHIME Board Chairman Randy McCleese FCHIME, CHCIO, Vice President of IS and CIO at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Kentucky, noted that providers will begin to see penalties – reductions in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements – beginning in 2014 if they don not meet program requirements. “The country won’t be able to achieve important health reform efforts without support from information systems, and given current obstacles faced by providers in implementing this crucial technology, we must make a substantive course correction,” he said.

Sign-on Organizations Include the Following:

AMDA-Dedicated to Long Term Care Medicine

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

American Academy of Dermatology Association

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Home Care Medicine

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

American Academy of Neurology

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery

American Association of Neurological Surgeons / Congress of Neurological Surgeons

American College of Cardiology

American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians

American College of Osteopathic Internists

American College of Osteopathic Surgeons

American College of Physicians

American College of Radiology

American College of Rheumatology

American College of Surgeons

American Health Information Management Association

American Hospital Association

American Medical Association

American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics

American Osteopathic Association

American Psychiatric Association

American Society for Clinical Pathology

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

American Society for Radiation Oncology

American Society of Anesthesiologists

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery

American Society of Hematology

American Urological Association

America’s Essential Hospitals

Association of American Medical Colleges

Catholic Health Association of the United States

Children’s Hospital Association

College of Healthcare Information Management Executives

Federation of American Hospitals

Heart Rhythm Society

Infectious Diseases Society of America

Medical Group Management Association

National Rural Health Association

North American Spine Society

Premier healthcare alliance

Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

Society of Thoracic Surgeons

The Endocrine Society

VHA Inc.

 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

February 24, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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.

CCHIT ANNOUNCES NEW STRATEGIC DIRECTION WITH GLOBAL FOCUS PLANS TO OFFER COUNSEL AND POLICY GUIDANCE TO HIT STAKEHOLDERS

CHICAGO – Jan. 29, 2014 – Today, CCHIT announced a new strategic direction that will return it to its founding public mission of supporting the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  CCHIT plans to offer direct counsel to both healthcare providers and health IT developers on the requirements for certified EHR technology and how to best satisfy HIT regulations published by organizations and governments.  With a more global focus, and in alliance with HIMSS, CCHIT will also develop new programs and policy guidance aimed at achieving interoperability and supporting change in the way providers and patients around the world use IT to positively transform health and healthcare.

As part of this change, CCHIT will no longer offer ONC testing and certification services, or its independently developed certification programs.

“It’s apparent to both providers and vendors that the pace of ONC 2014 Edition certification has been slowed by the challenges of more rigorous criteria and testing, and the timing and nature of future federal health IT program requirements remain uncertain. With these changes, we can provide a greater level of support and counsel to providers and vendors, something we could not undertake as a government authorized certification body,” said Alisa Ray, CCHIT executive director. “At the same time, returning to our independent work, we can convene thought leaders and advisory groups to provide policy and governance recommendations, and guidance to the healthcare community here and internationally.”

CCHIT will continue to operate The Source™, its subscription-based ONC testing and certification preparation service. At the completion of CCHIT’s transition, a new menu of individualized services focused on topics such as Understanding ONC Certification Criteria and Test Methods, Interoperability, and Clinical Quality Measures and Meaningful Use Reporting will be added to help EHR developers. New services designed especially for healthcare providers will be added incrementally.

CCHIT will develop new programs with a global charter that will include the participation of HIT thought leaders and multi-stakeholder advisory groups, with a series of summits and events to support that work.  CCHIT is entering into an alliance with HIMSS to benefit from its deep understanding of healthcare provider and HIT industry needs, domestically and internationally, and enhance the chances of success of CCHIT’s new programs.  CCHIT intends to launch these new services at HIMSS14, on February 26, 2014, in Orlando, Fla.  Information about the first CCHIT Summit – The Decade of Health IT – is available at https://www.cchit.org/events.

This discussion with past National Coordinators Dr. David Brailer, Dr. Robert Kolodner, and Dr. Farzad Mostashari will include a critical look back at the last decade of health IT progress, followed by a session allowing audience input on the desired role of health IT in the decade to come. The Summit will be moderated by Christopher Weaver, a journalist covering the business of health care for the Wall Street Journal.

“Both HIMSS and CCHIT share the common and long-term goal of improving health with information technology,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, HIMSS executive vice president. “This alliance allows our organizations to combine our considerable knowledge and experience to better serve our stakeholders as we work together to further positive patient outcomes.”

CCHIT’s customers have been notified of this change. CCHIT has recommended that its customers accept an offer from ICSA Labs to maintain their certification or apply for new testing services. CCHIT chose ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, and an ONC-Authorized Certification body and Accredited HIT Test Laboratory, to support its customers because of the expertise of its staff and its processes. CCHIT will assist and support its customers as services are transferred.

“This move works at many levels in the best interest of companies that are developing EHRs and those in the medical community who use EHRs.  Each of us – CCHIT, HIMSS and ICSA Labs – will be concentrating on what we know and do best,” said Ray.

Along with this new strategic direction, CCHIT has restructured its board of trustees with the following health and health IT leaders constituting the new board:

Dana Alexander RN, MSN, MBA, FAAN, FHIMSS
VP Integrated Care Delivery & Chief Nursing, Caradigm

Lori Evans Bernstein
President, GSI Health

Paul Kleeberg MD, FAAFP, CPHIT, FHIMSS
CMIO, Stratis Health

Grace Terrell MD, MMM, CPE
President & CEO, Cornerstone

Andrew M. Wiesenthal, MD, SM
Director, Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Hal Wolf
ADVI, LLC

Michael H. Zaroukian, MD, PhD, FACP, FHIMSS
Vice President & Chief Medical Information Officer, Sparrow Health System

The work of CCHIT’s board of Commissioners has concluded and will be replaced by multi-stakeholder advisory groups, which will be named later.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) has operated as an independent, 501(c)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 was authorized in 2012 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and 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.

“CCHIT®” and “CCHIT Certified®” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.

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. Visit www.himss.org.

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 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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.

DeSalvo to Address HIMSS14 Attendees

Chicago, IL (January 24, 2014) – Newly-appointed National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, will address attendees of the HIMSS14 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, FL.  Dr. DeSalvo will offer opening remarks at 8:30 am on Thursday morning, Feb. 27, prior to the morning’s keynote address from Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Marilyn Tavenner.

“HIMSS is honored that Dr. DeSalvo will be joining us for HIMSS14 in Orlando next month,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President of HIMSS. “Her insights and guidance are an exciting addition to the HIMSS14 lineup of health IT leaders from government and the healthcare community.”

Dr. DeSalvo is a physician and a leader in improving vulnerable populations’ access to healthcare, most recently as Health Commissioner for the City of New Orleans, where she 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.  She has long understood the value of health IT, serving as President of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, the Louisiana lead for the state’s health information exchange and regional extension center grants, as well as a member of the Steering Committee for the Crescent City Beacon Community grant.

More information on HIMSS14 is available at http://www.himssconference.org.

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.

January 24, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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 Says Start Stage 2 On Time And Give It Time To Work

Data from HIMSS Analytics database led HIMSS Board of Directors to support launch of Stage 2 Meaningful Use on-schedule, while simultaneously recognizing timeline and certification challenges articulated by eligible hospitals, eligible professionals, and the vendors who serve them, necessitates a longer attestation window.

 CHICAGO (August 15, 2013) -  Adopting an approach that encourages continued progress while simultaneously acknowledging short-term obstacles, HIMSS recommends launching Stage 2 Meaningful Use on-schedule and extending Year 1 of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation period through April 2015 and June 2015 for EHs and EPs, respectively.  This would encompass 18 months in which EHs and EPs can attest to Meaningful Use requirements for one quarter.

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 68 percent of eligible hospitals, and
  • 41 percent of tethered ambulatory facilities

have purchased the necessary software to attest to the 2014 Certification requirements, but there are concerns that many may still be waiting for the necessary upgrade to the certified version.

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, National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM.

“In our Call to Action, HIMSS asks the healthcare community – providers, hospitals and vendors – to come together in their execution plans for the 2014 certification process and implementation of 2014 certified products. We have recommended an extra six months to achieve Year 1 of Meaningful Use Stage 2, which is a brief amount of time when considering our ultimate and joint goal of successful implementation of health IT to support care coordination and healthcare transformation,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS.

Smith indicated that HIMSS will continue to focus on this Call to Action as part of its activities for National Health IT Week, Sept. 16-20 in Washington, D.C. In addition, resources, such as the HIMSS Value of Health IT Suite, and case studies from HIMSS Davies Award winners and HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 hospitals, are available to healthcare providers seeking data to support and realize the value of health IT.

Read the HIMSS letter to Secretary Sebelius, Administrator Tavenner and National Coordinator Dr. Mostashari.  Read the HIMSS Call to Action statement.

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. Visitwww.himss.org.

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.

August 15, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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. Farzad Mostashari Stepping Down as National Coordinator for Health IT

The following is a statement from Carla Smith, Executive Vice President at HIMSS.

Ann Arbor, MI (August 6, 2013) – We learned today that Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health IT, will step down from public service in the Fall. HIMSS has been privileged to work with Dr. Mostashari as he passionately led the government’s collaborations with the healthcare community, ensuring that health IT is truly the foundation of healthcare transformation.

Dr. Mostashari has long been committed to the value of health IT. At the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, he set a benchmark for how EHRs should be leveraged for public health and population health management, leading to the Department’s Public Health Information Project being awarded the prestigious HIMSS Davies Public Health Award of Excellence in 2011. Dr. Mostashari himself was presented with the 2011 HIMSS Federal Leadership Award during National Health IT Week, and, thanks to his enthusiastic vision of our nation’s future health system, Dr. Mostashari routinely drew large audiences to his speeches at HIMSS events.

HIMSS appreciates Dr. Mostashari’s remarkable achievements as National Coordinator for Health IT and beyond. Thanks to his energetic leadership, patient care is improving as providers and hospitals are implementing health IT, efficient information exchange is leading to better care coordination, and consumers are engaging as partners in their own health. We wish Farzad success as he enters the next phase of his career, and look forward to working with ONC to continue his vision.

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads global 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. For more information, please visit www.himss.org.

August 6, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently 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.