Archives: EHR/EMR

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CMS Launches Streamlined Application for Meaningful Use Hardship Exceptions

On January 22, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced the launch of a new, streamlined application process for providers and hospitals seeking a hardship exception from financial penalties for failing to meet meaningful use electronic health record requirements.   According to CMS, “[t]he streamlined hardship applications reduce the amount of information that … Continue Reading

House Legislation Would Modestly Expand Use of Technology in Treating Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

Last month, the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee approved the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015.  The Act is designed to improve access to treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and it includes several provisions to modestly expand and improve the use of technology in delivering … Continue Reading

OIG FY 2016 Work Plan Includes Review of FDA’s Oversight of Networked Devices

On November 2, 2015, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) published its FY 2016 Work Plan, which summarizes new and ongoing activities that OIG plans to pursue with respect to HHS programs and operations during the fiscal year. The FY 2016 Work Plan includes a new review initiative to examine “whether FDA’s oversight of … Continue Reading

CMS Issues New EHR Meaningful Use Rules

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) finalized new rules for the Electronic Health Records (EHR) meaningful use program.  In response to significant public criticism of the program, the final rulemaking offers some additional flexibility for complying with the program’s requirements.… Continue Reading

Cybersecurity Risks with Connected Devices

Earlier this week, our colleague Bianca Nunes published a post on cybersecurity risks with connected devices on Covington’s InsideMedicalDevices blog.  This post describes the FDA’s increasing focus on promoting cybersecurity, as well as a draft practice guide for securing health records maintained on mobile devices published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).… Continue Reading

Senate Approves Bill to Ease Meaningful Use Requirements In Ambulatory Surgery Setting

Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill that would ease federal requirements that professionals seeing patients at ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) “meaningfully use” certified electronic health records (EHRs). The measure would sunset after certified EHR technology is applicable to the ASC setting.… Continue Reading

Comments Requested on Draft Guide on Securing Electronic Health Records on Mobile Devices

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (“NCCoE”) has released a draft for public comment of the first guide in a new series of publications “that will show businesses and other organizations how to improve their cybersecurity using standards-based, commercially available or open-source tools.” The guide discusses how to secure electronic health records on mobile devices. … Continue Reading

Department of Defense Contract To Overhaul Electronic Health Records System

The Department of Defense (DOD) is expected to select a contractor sometime this summer to modernize its electronic health records (EHR) system. The DOD’s $11 billion Healthcare Management Systems Modernization Electronic Health Record program will replace the agency’s existing EHR system, which supports more than 9.7 million beneficiaries, including active duty personnel, retirees, and their … Continue Reading

21st Century Cures Act with EHR and Telehealth Provisions Passes Through Committee with Flying Colors

* Jack Lund is a summer associate and student at the University of Virginia School of Law        The “21st Century Cures Act” (Cures) cleared its first major hurdle last month when the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously in favor of the legislation.  Among other things, Cures helps to modernize Medicare by … Continue Reading

American Medical Informatics Association Report Makes Recommendations for EHR Systems

On May 28, 2015, a panel from the American Medical Informatics Association (“AMIA”) published an eleven-page “Report of the AMIA EHR 2020 Task Force on the Status and Future Direction of EHRs.”  Recognizing that current problems in EHR use “are complex” and that “[s]olving these problems will require regulatory stability, the development of an acceptable … Continue Reading

ONC Releases Updated EPHI Guide

We recently posted on the Inside Privacy blog about an update to the Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Protected Health Information issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC).  The updated guide incorporates the most current standards in accordance with the new final rules, issued in 2013, under the Health Information … Continue Reading

Moving to the Cloud: Privacy and Other Key Considerations for Healthcare Entities

Last week, as part of our Life Sciences Essentials series, Covington hosted a webinar discussion of issues facing life sciences companies as they increasingly utilize cloud services to collect, aggregate, store and process data. The webinar is available here, and the slides can be viewed here. Panelists and topics included: Anna Kraus — HIPAA and … Continue Reading

ONC Data Brief Describes Positive Trends in the Adoption of EHR Systems

In a recently released Data Brief, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) described trends in adoption of Basic EHR and certified EHR in non-federal acute care hospitals from 2008 to 2014.  “Basic EHR represents a minimum use of core functionality determined to be essential to an EHR system.”  “A certified … Continue Reading

The Joint Commission Issues Health IT-Related Patient Safety Alert

The Joint Commission, an independent, non-profit organization that accredits and certifies health care organizations, recently issued a Sentinel Event Alert to identify patient safety risks related to the use of health information technology and to recommend actions that hospitals and other accredited organizations should consider.… Continue Reading

CMS Releases Proposed Rules for Stage 3 of EHR’s Meaningful Use Program

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released proposed rules for Stage 3 of the EHR meaningful use program. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) concurrently released proposed certification criteria for EHR technology.  The full text of the ONC proposal can be found here. According to CMS, the … Continue Reading

CMS Extends Meaningful Use Attestation Deadline to March 20 for Eligible Professionals

Yesterday, CMS extended the meaningful use attestation deadline for the 2014 reporting year for eligible professionals in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program from February 28 to March 20.  In an email, CMS stated that it “extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data.”  Medicare eligible professionals must attest to … Continue Reading

CMS Estimates that Medicare EHR Incentive Program Will Penalize Hundreds of Thousands of Eligible Professionals

At the ONC’s HIT Committee meeting on February 10, 2015, CMS presented data about the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program.  The presentation included CMS’s estimate that over two hundred and fifty thousand professionals participating in Medicare will receive a downward payment adjustment for failing to meet meaningful use standards in 2015, which is the … Continue Reading

President’s Budget Includes Funding for Precision Medicine Initiative

As we described in an a post last month, in the State of the Union the President announced a new “Precision Medicine Initiative” to foster the development and delivery of personalized treatments for illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.  The FY 2016 budget released by the President yesterday includes $215 million in funding to launch … Continue Reading

CMS Submits Proposed Rule on Stage 3 Meaningful Use to OMB

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the proposed rulemaking for Stage 3 meaningful use, which is the next stage of compliance for eligible professionals and hospitals in the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program.  Stage 3 is scheduled to begin in 2017. The … Continue Reading
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