HHS announces 5 goals for 2013 to improve quality of care through health IT to build a seamless and secure flow of information vital to healthcare transformation.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are improving the way care is delivered while lowering costs,” said Acting Administrator Tavenner. “We are already seeing benefits, such as a reduction in hospital readmissions due to these reforms. Health IT and the secure exchange of information across providers are crucial to reforming the system, and must be a routine part of care delivery.”
This year, HHS will:
- Set aggressive goals for 2013: HHS is setting the goal of 50 percent of physician offices using electronic health records (EHR) and 80 percent of eligible hospitals receiving meaningful use incentive payments by the end of 2013.
- Increase the emphasis on interoperability: HHS will increase its emphasis on ensuring electronic exchange across providers. It will start that effort by issuing today a request for information (RFI) seeking public input about a variety of policies that will strengthen the business case for electronic exchange across providers to ensure patients’ health information will follow them seamlessly and securely wherever they access care.
- Enhance the effective use of electronic health records through initiatives like the Blue Button initiative. Medicare beneficiaries can access their full Medicare records online today. HHS is working with the Veterans Administration and more than 450 different organizations to make health care information available to patients and health plan members. HHS is also encouraging Medicare Advantage plans to expand the use of Blue Button to provide beneficiaries with one-click secure access to their health information.
- Implement Meaningful Use Stage 2: HHS is implementing rules that define what data must be able to be exchanged between Health IT systems, including how data will be structured and coded so that providers will have one uniform way to format and securely send data.
- Underscoring program integrity: HHS is taking new steps to ensure the integrity of the program is sound and technology is not being used to game the system. For example, it is conducting extensive medical reviews and issuing Comparative Billing reports that identify providers.
These goals will build on the momentum of HHS and it’s partners have made with EHR adoption increasing 44 percent since 2010.
The RFI can be found at http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-05266_PI.pdf Deadline for comments is April 21, 2013.