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Preparing for 2017: Four Important Reports

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Preparing for 2017: Four Important Reports

With so much transition ahead of us at the Federal, state, and local levels in 2017, it is important to begin to plan for what the Health IT landscapes will look like for the comin ...

With so much transition ahead of us at the Federal, state, and local levels in 2017, it is important to begin to plan for what the Health IT landscapes will look like for the coming year (and beyond). Several key reports have come out – mostly from government sources – which are worth serious consideration for any Health IT planner:

HHS Public Health 3.0 White Paper: This seminal paper sets the stage for ongoing maturation of the public health infrastructure and capability at all levels of government to continue to assure the public’s health.

ONC 2017 Interoperability Standards Advisory: Now in its third year, this material gets longer and longer, and more and more complex each time. The current incarnation is a navigable website chock full of standards, though you can still download a PDF by clicking on the “2017 ISA Reference Edition” or “ISA 2017” links.

ONC 2016 Report to Congress on Health IT Progress: This HITECH-required report updates Congress about progress during the past year. While it is a really good summary of recent and current activities and initiatives, it only deals with what is really going on (or not going on) on the ground in a cursory way.

National Governors Association Road Map for States to Improve Health Information Flow Between Providers: A very detailed report aimed at State policy makers with clear guidance – and lots of examples – to try to move interoperability forward at the State level.

There are no easy answers here, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the information presented in these reports. But they cannot be ignored and can help form the basis of a solid organizational or governmental strategy.

The Reduction of State-coordinated HIE: How Should Public Health React?

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The Reduction of State-coordinated HIE: How Should Public Health React?

A recent article in HealthAffairs describes a significant decline in the number of both operational HIEs and HIEs in the planning stage from several years earlier. The authors note ...

A recent article in HealthAffairs describes a significant decline in the number of both operational HIEs and HIEs in the planning stage from several years earlier. The authors note continuing barriers to broad-based HIE and a shift to vendor-driven exchange which diminishes the effectiveness of community-based networks. In effect, this translates to a shift away from geographic-based/dominated HIEs to product-dominated HIEs. We have already noted (see The Interoperability of Things) the lack of a national strategy on HIE, and ONC’s Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap barely mentions the concept.

Consumer Access to Health Care Data: Still a Challenge

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Consumer Access to Health Care Data: Still a Challenge

Consumers continue to be frustrated with lack of access to their healthcare data, even as wearables and other consumer-targeted devices and services continue to sprout. Recently, O ...

Consumers continue to be frustrated with lack of access to their healthcare data, even as wearables and other consumer-targeted devices and services continue to sprout. Recently, ONC launched a Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge to spur the development of new applications and partnerships to provide aggregated health data to patients. While the financial “prize” for this effort is meager, recognition by ONC might be the real brass ring. This challenge focuses on the use of FHIR exclusively to support interoperability between systems and present data to consumers. I suspect that applicants will have some trouble meeting the requirements of the challenge effectively, and this is indicative of the broader challenge in supporting this type of data access.

Meaningful Use Lives On!

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Meaningful Use Lives On!

The controversial report of the demise of CMS EHR Incentive Programs and Meaningful Use (MU) were greatly exaggerated. The confusion began with a statement (now removed) that CMS A ...

The controversial report of the demise of CMS EHR Incentive Programs and Meaningful Use (MU) were greatly exaggerated. The confusion began with a statement (now removed) that CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt made at a healthcare conference on January 11, 2016. He was discussing the changes coming in the next few years to the Medicare program under MACRA, the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. Among other things, Mr. Slavitt said, “Now that we effectively have technology into virtually every place care is provided, we are now in the process of ending Meaningful Use and moving to a new regime culminating with the MACRA implementation. The Meaningful Use program as it has existed, will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.”