On March 6, 2018, CMS announced the MyHealthEData initiative, which aims to give patients easier access to and control over their medical records.

Announcing the initiative, CMS Administrator Seema Verma laid out a future where individuals will have access to their health data wherever they go and be able to share data with the push of a button, with easy access to their entire medical history from birth, including data from health visits, claims, and information gathered through wearable technology.

According to Administrator Verma’s speech and a CMS announcement, the MyHealthEData program is a government-wide initiative that includes the following components:

Continue Reading CMS Announces MyHealthEData Initiative to Promote Patient Access to Health Data

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 . . . must be submit[ted] to apply for an exception.”
Continue Reading CMS Launches Streamlined Application for Meaningful Use Hardship Exceptions

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

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 threshold ‘barrier to entry’ into the EHR marketplace, and a supportive national policy,” the report outlines ten “near-term strategies” to address challenges with EHR systems.   
Continue Reading American Medical Informatics Association Report Makes Recommendations for 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 EHR is EHR technology that meets the technological capability, functionality, and security requirements adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services.”  Data cited in the brief are from the American Hospital Association (AHA) Information Technology (IT) Supplement to the AHA Annual Survey.

The Data Brief identifies and discusses four trends.
Continue Reading ONC Data Brief Describes Positive Trends in the Adoption of EHR Systems

As we described in an earlier post, in February, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) published the proposed 2015 Edition of its Electronic Health Records (EHR) certification criteriaSee 79 Fed. Reg. 10880 (Feb. 26, 2014).  As the public comment period came to a close at the end of April, a number of industry groups submitted comments expressing concern about the proposal.
Continue Reading Industry Groups Criticize Proposed 2015 EHR Certification Criteria

On March 10, 2014, CMS released its applications for Medicare professionals and hospitals seeking a hardship exemption for the Stage 2 meaningful use requirements.  In these applications, CMS added “2014 EHR Vendor Issues” to the list of grounds warranting an exemption.  The application for eligible professionals can be found here; the application for hospitals can be found here.
Continue Reading CMS Issues EHR Hardship Exemption Applications for Medicare Providers

On February 26, 2014, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) published the proposed 2015 Edition of its Electronic Health Records (EHR) certification criteriaSee 79 Fed. Reg. 10880.  According to ONC, the 2015 Edition adopts approximately 60 percent of the 2014 Edition criteria, with the roughly 40 percent of proposed changes falling into one of four categories: Clarifying Revisions, Standards Updates, Restructuring, and New Certification Criteria Proposals.  Id. at 10882.  Comments on the proposal are due by April 28, 2014.
Continue Reading ONC Proposes 2015 Edition of EHR Certification Criteria