On 29 March 2019, the ICO opened the beta phase of the “regulatory sandbox” scheme (the “Sandbox”), which is a new service designed to support organizations that are developing innovative and beneficial projects that use personal data.  The application process for participating in the Sandbox is now open, and applications must be submitted to the

The full Senate could vote as early as this week on the nomination of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In January, two Senate Committees held hearings on Rep. Price’s nomination. These hearings focused largely on Rep. Price’s stance on repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and on reform of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Senators asked few questions related to health information technology, and the limited discussion on this topic centered primarily on the burdens placed on providers by HHS initiatives to promote the “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHRs).
Continue Reading Vote on HHS Secretary Nomination Expected as Early as this Week; Nomination Hearings Included Little Discussion of Health IT

Tom Price, the Republican representative from Georgia, has been tapped by President-elect Trump as the new Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Rep. Price is himself an orthopedic surgeon and comes from a family of doctors and, as a result, is focused closely on the ways in which government regulations burden the doctor-patient relationship. At an American Enterprise Institute event this past June, Rep. Price criticized the Affordable Care Act for allowing the government, rather than doctors and patients, to control the manner in which healthcare is offered.

Continue Reading Incoming HHS Secretary Tom Price Brings Physician-Focused Perspective to Health IT

Last month, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) began its review of the much-discussed new Health IT Certification regulations, which include enhanced oversight of Electronic Health Records (“EHRs”) technology by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”).

Continue Reading OMB Reviewing Final Health IT Certification Regulations

In March, CMS issued a State Medicaid Directors Letter (SMDL) about the availability of enhanced federal funding for state Medicaid programs’ eligibility and enrollment (E&E) systems. This SMDL represents CMS’s most recent effort to encourage States to use commercial “off-the-shelf” technology and “software as a service,” instead of customized electronic systems developed and built specifically for individual States.

Continue Reading CMS Issues Guidance Encouraging the Use of Commercial Off-the-Shelf Technology and Software-as-a-Service for Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment Systems

On February 29, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Directors Letter (SMDL) that expands the scope of expenditures eligible for the 90 percent federal match for activities to promote the use of a health information exchange (HIE) and the adoption of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology by Medicaid providers.

Specifically, this updated guidance permits States to claim the enhanced match for expenditures that promote coordination of care between entities eligible for EHR incentive payments and other Medicaid providers who may not necessarily qualify for such payments.   This SMDL supersedes earlier guidance that did not permit the enhanced match for these activities.


Continue Reading CMS Expands Scope of Enhanced Match for Promotion of Health IT

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 CMS Issues New EHR Meaningful Use Rules

Last week, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP), called for HHS to delay the regulations implementing Stage 3 of the Electronic Health Records (EHR) incentive programs until January 1, 2017.
Continue Reading Chairman of Senate HELP Committee Calls for Delay of EHR Stage 3 Rules