CHIME and other health care organizations applauded the new spending bill signed by President Donald Trump, which includes provisions reducing meaningful use and Merit-Based Incentive Payment System burdens and expanding the use of telehealth services in Medicare Advantage plans. CHIME also praised the bill's $6 billion in funding for fighting the opioid epidemic.
Why interoperability moves at a snail’s pace Coordinated, accountable, patient-centered care relies on seamlessly orchestrated access to data. Despite that, providers continue to be challenged by information silos and IT systems that fail to communicate or share data effectively. Read here.
The ONC appointed Robert Wah, global chief medical officer at DXC Technology, and Carolyn Petersen, senior editor of the Mayo Clinic's health information website, as the new co-chairs of its Health IT Advisory Committee. The committee will first address the Trusted Exchange Framework, which seeks to facilitate data sharing between health information exchange networks.
Timothy Noonan, who served as the HHS Office for Civil Rights' acting associate deputy director for regional operations and acting director for centralized case management operations at OCR's headquarters, was appointed the agency's acting deputy director for health information privacy. Noonan replaces Iliana Peters, who has joined the health care operations practice at a law firm.
A Stericycle Expert Solutions report found that the top reason for medical device recalls in the US for the seventh straight quarter was software issues, followed by mislabeling issues, quality issues and manufacturing defects. Researchers evaluated data from the FDA, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and found 152 medical device sector recalls during the fourth quarter of last year, marking the lowest recall quarter in six years.
A letter the American Academy of Family Physicians sent to the CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT outlined policy changes that could reduce administrative burdens on physicians. "The AAFP maintains that the current regulatory framework with which primary care physicians must comply is daunting and often demoralizing," AAFP Board Chair John Meigs, M.D., said in the letter.
Forty-four percent of health care executives reported that they haven't implemented telehealth in their organizations, and 86% of that group cited telemedicine deployment as a medium to high priority, according to a Sage Growth Partners poll. The survey also showed that 66% of those who adopted telehealth had budgets of $250,000 or less, while 75% expect a positive return on investment for telehealth initiatives during the next three years in the outpatient clinic.
H.R. 3120, which CHIME strongly supported and which Board Chair Cletis Earle, CIO of Kaleida Health, testified on last year, was among the provisions to make it into the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The act was signed Friday by the president. According to the Energy and Commerce Committee's official news release on the Continuing Resolution, this act will "remove the mandate that meaningful use standards become more stringent over time." The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has long held that they were required under the HITECH Act to make standards increasingly stringent.