Electronic Health Records

Integration & Interoperability News

The Week Ahead in Health IT Interoperability: Nov. 16-22

"The comments received during the comment period may be considered as we prepare for future rulemaking to implement MIPS."

By Frank Irving

- There’s less than a month remaining to submit public comments on the EHR Incentive Programs Stage 3 final rule. The regulations become effective on Dec. 15, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers the programs. “The comments received during the comment period may be considered as we prepare for future rulemaking to implement the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System,” says CMS, “which in general is expected to be more broadly focused on quality and care delivery.”

The week of Nov. 16-22 in health IT interoperability.

The final rule further “establishes a number of key final policies in response to these concerns,” the regulation states. Those include “a simplification of program requirements, an introduction of flexibility within certain objectives, an option to participate in Stage 3 in 2017 but not required until 2018, and an overall focus on interoperability.” Click here to submit electronic comments.

Other noteworthy happenings to watch this week and beyond:

Two advisory committee meetings on deck. The Health IT Policy Committee’s Certified technology Comparison Task Force meets Nov. 17 at 9:00 a.m. ET. The group, co-chaired by Anita Somplasky of Quality Insights of Pennsylvania and Christopher Ross of Mayo Clinic, provides recommendations on the most feasible public-private approaches for comparing certified technology products. Click here to join the meeting. The Health IT Standards Committee’s Transition Vocabulary Task Force convenes Nov. 20 at 9:30 a.m.  The eight-member workgroup provides recommendations on whether transitional technologies should be eliminated as alternatives in reporting to federal quality measure programs using EHR-captured clinical data elements. Click here to join the meeting.

Emphasis on diabetes during November. Various initiatives come together this month to promote diabetes awareness and the impact of the disease on public health. November is American Diabetes Month, recognizing that 30 million U.S. adults and children have diabetes, and another 86 million Americans are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The total cost of diagnosed diabetes across the country is estimated at $245 billion, according to the American Diabetes Association. It’s also Diabetic Eye Disease Month. CMS offers this list of Medicare vision services.

AMA appoints former GM executive to board. Kevin Williams was elected Nov. 16 to the American Medical Association (AMA)’s Board of Trustees. He’ll begin his four-year term as a “public member” of AMA’s governing board at the conclusion of the association’s annual meeting in June 2016. The announcement was mad at AMA’s interim meeting in Atlanta. Williams held numerous global roles during a 31-year career at General Motors (GM). He most recently served as board chairman, president and managing director of GM of Canada. Previous positions include president and managing director of GM de Mexico and vice president of quality at GM North American. “We look forward to his new perspectives that will enrich our continuing efforts to address the leading healthcare issues facing our nation,” said AMA Board Chair Stephen Permut, MD, in a public statement.

AMA’s interim meeting runs through Nov. 17. AMA’s House of Delegates will consider draft ethical standards for practicing telemedicine, reports Politico. Additional voting will address a report of EHR shortcomings, as well opposition to meaningful use expansion without interoperability, according to the site.




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