General Information

Health Informatics and Technology Update

CMS: $2.5B in Meaningful Use Payments Distributed So Far

Published in the January 11 iHealthBeat

During yesterday’s Health IT Policy Committee meeting, CMS officials announced that $2.5 billion in meaningful use incentive payments had been distributed as of December 2011. National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari also announced the creation of a public use file with de-identified data from meaningful use attestations.

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Office for Civil Rights Gears Up for HIPAA Compliance Audits

Published in the November 9 iHealthBeat

This month, HHS‘ Office for Civil Rights plans to begin auditing covered entities for compliance with HIPAA standards for privacy, security and data breach notification. OCR will send written notices to covered entities selected for an initial round of 20 audits. The office plans to use the results of the initial audits to inform how future audits will be conducted. Health Data Management, Modern Healthcare.

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CHIME: CIO Concerns About Meaningful Use Have Declined

Published in the October 20 iHealthBeat

A survey by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives finds that 66% of member CIOs have concerns about meeting requirements for the meaningful use incentive program, down from about 90% who reported similar concerns in March. The survey also notes that half of organizations that have qualified for incentives have received payment.

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Stakeholders Eye Health IT Tools To Improve Care Transitions

Published in the October 17 iHealthBeat

At a meeting last week, health IT industry leaders discussed ways to use health IT to improve transitions in health care settings. Participants said that remote monitoring tools could help physicians track patients and that future work should focus on allowing electronic health record and personal health record systems to merge medication data.

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Interactive Map Tracks Antibiotic Resistance in North America, Europe

Published in the September 22 iHealthBeat

Extending the Cure — a research project based at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy — recently launched ResistanceMap, an interactive tracking tool that monitors drug resistance in North America and Europe, the Wall Street Journal’s “Health Blog” reports (Hobson, “Health Blog,” Wall Street Journal, 9/21).

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ONC Announces Soft Launch of Initiative on Segmenting EHR Data

Published in the September 20 iHealthBeat

On Monday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT announced the soft launch of an initiative that will use metadata tagging to create patient consent management controls, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 9/19).

The project — called the Data Segmentation Initiative — aims to help health care providers exchange portions of an electronic health record while keeping certain sensitive information separate (Goedert, Health Data Management, 9/20).

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Study: Meaningful Use Unlikely To Affect Mortality in Stage 1

Published in the September 15 iHealthBeat

A new Health Affairs study finds that meeting Stage 1 meaningful use requirements for computerized provider order entry is unlikely to reduce hospital mortality rates for patients with heart conditions. However, researchers note that later stages might have a larger effect on mortality rates because Stage 2 and Stage 3 require greater use of CPOE. Becker’s Hospital Review et al.

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CMS Posts Guides To Help Care Providers Plan HIPAA, ICD-10 Changes

Published in the September 14 iHealthBeat

CMS has launched a website outlining for health care-related entities the appropriate timelines to adopt HIPAA 5010 and ICD-10 standards. The information suggests how to manage the execution of the new standards and can be downloaded. Government Health IT.

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ONC Releases Final Version of Federal Health IT Strategic Plan

Published in the September 13 iHealthBeat

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released the final version of its Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2011 through 2015 after receiving about 240 comments on a draft version of the plan. In the final plan, ONC calls for the creation of a task force to develop an updated approach to certain privacy and security issues. Modern Healthcare, Government Health IT.

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Study: Telemedicine Program Improves Care for Chronic Conditions

Published in the September 9 iHealthBeat

The Health Buddy Program, which integrates telehealth tools with care management applications, could curb spending and improve care for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions, according to a new Health Affairs study conducted by Stanford University researchers. CMIO.

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New Study Identifies Fragmentation in Health Data Exchange Market

Published in the September 8 iHealthBeat

An eHealth Initiative survey finds that no vendor dominates the health information exchange market. Although most HIEs said they are satisfied with their vendor, about 25% said they plan to re-evaluate their vendor in the next year. InformationWeek, eHealth Initiative release.

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ONC Launches New Website Offering Health IT Resources

Published September 8 by iHealthBeat

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has launched its new website, which aims to provide information on health IT issues to patients and health care providers. The new website will connect users to various resources, such as information about the privacy of electronic health records and guidance on implementing EHR systems. Modern Healthcare.

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OCR: More Than 30K Health Data Breaches Recorded Since 2009

Published September 7 by iHealthBeat

About 7.9 million people have had their health records exposed in more than 30,750 data breaches since new breach notification requirements took effect in September 2009, according to a report to Congress by HHS’ Office for Civil Rights, Modern Healthcare reports.

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EHNAC Announces New Health Data Exchange Accreditation Program

Published August 22 by iHealthBeat

A new accreditation program by the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission will evaluate vendors that provide technology to health data exchanges. EHNAC is expected to seek public comment on criteria for the new program beginning in September. Healthcare IT News.

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Drugmakers No Longer Able To Block Wall Posts on Facebook

Published August 15 by iHealthBeat

Starting today, Facebook will stop allowing most pharmaceutical companies to block the public from posting comments on their Facebook walls. In response, some drug companies have shut down their Facebook pages, citing concerns that public comments about adverse side effects or off-label drug use could raise alarm among government regulators. Washington Post, WHYY’s “Newsworks.”

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Health Informatics & Technology Update

Health Informatics & Technology Update is published by the California Hospital Association’s (CHA). CHA represents the interests of nearly 450 hospitals and health systems in California, providing its members with state and federal representation and advocacy in the legislative and regulatory arenas through an agenda designed to improve access to quality, cost-effective health services.

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