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Last week I published an article on the Inside Medical Devices Blog, discussing eight data security principles that companies participating in the Precision Medicine Initiative should aim to meet.  The Administration’s guidance document additionally recommends a basic framework that organizations collecting, storing, and sharing patient information should adopt as current best practices.  The full post

On December 22, 2015, the ONC released the 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory, which is meant to serve as a “single resource for those looking for federally recognized, national interoperability standards and guidance,” according to ONC’s Director of the Office of Standards and Technology Steven Posnack, MS, MHS, and Director of HIT Infrastructure and Innovation Division Chris Muir. The standards listed in this advisory focus explicitly on clinical health IT systems’ interoperability.  Specifically, the 2016 Advisory lists existing and emerging standards for different interoperability needs and discusses health information exchange related to areas including lab tests, medications, imaging, electronic prescribing, public health reporting, and clinical decision support.
Continue Reading ONC Releases 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a request for information (RFI) seeking public comment regarding areas of certification and testing of health IT as part of the Electronic Health Records (EHR) meaningful use program.

Beginning in 2018, participants in the Stage 3 Meaningful Use EHR incentive program must electronically report

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released a draft report conducting a literature review of studies researching the effectiveness of the current telehealth system.  The report was initially requested by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and John Thune (R-SD) to examine the value of telehealth and remote patient monitoring, with a focus on expanding

A new post on Covington’s Inside Medical Devices blog discusses a new portal recently launched by HHS seeking questions from mobile health application developers.  The platform allows for individuals to both submit and review questions on the HIPAA implications of these mobile health applications.  To read the post, click here.

The state of Missouri has promulgated regulations effective July 30, 2015 that formally authorize electronic prescribing of controlled substances in Missouri. With these new regulations, Missouri becomes the final state to allow electronic prescribing of controlled substances. Although the Drug Enforcement Administration implemented changes in 2010 to permit electronic prescribing of such drugs, some states,

Although telemedicine has made many technological advancements in the past decade, it still faces several legal and financial barriers to widespread use and acceptance.  Chief among these are poor reimbursement policies; according to the American Telemedicine Association, 29 states earned an “F” for coverage and reimbursement standards.  States have attempted to rectify some of these payment barriers with state telehealth parity acts, which require that telehealth visits be reimbursed at the same rate as in-person visits.  On July 7th, Deleware became the 29th State to enact telehealth parity laws.

Congress is now considering a nation-wide telehealth parity act.  Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) has sponsored the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2015 in the House, along with co-sponsors Representatives Gregg Harper (R-MS), Diane Black (R-TN), and Peter Welch (D-VT).  The Act  is intended to modernize the way Medicare reimburses telehealth services and to expand coverage for Medicare beneficiaries.  
Continue Reading The Proposed Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2015 Would Expand Medicare Reimbursement for Telehealth Services

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) implemented the Independence at Home Demonstration program in January 2012.  The Demonstration is testing whether home-based care can reduce the need for hospitalization, improve patient and caregiver satisfaction, and lead to better health and lower costs to Medicare.  The Demonstration is part of the new framework established by the Affordable Care Act, which moves away from a fee-for-service payment model towards one that rewards doctors based on the quality, not the quantity, of care they give patients.  CMS aims to use alternative payment models to tie 30 percent of Medicare payments to quality and value by 2016, and to so tie 50 percent of payments by 2018.
Continue Reading The Independence at Home Demonstration Project Completes its First Year and Saves over $25 Million

* 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 including mandatory interoperability for electronic health records (EHR), study of and support for telehealth, and the creation of a pharmaceutical and technology ombudsman.Continue Reading 21st Century Cures Act with EHR and Telehealth Provisions Passes Through Committee with Flying Colors