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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Mar 11 2013   8:55PM GMT

HHS looking to encourage HIE adoption

Posted by: RedaChouffani
blue button, CMS, ePHI, HIE, ONC, PHI

On March 6, 2013, HHS released a notice and request for information around the need for policy changes to help electronic health information exchange outside of the current incentive programs that require interoperability and exchange.

HHS is seeking to create additional rulings to encourage non-meaningful use providers to promote more sharing of information. Some of the current considerations that HHS is looking to adopt as means to encourage the acceleration of HIE are:

  • Incentive payments
  • Payment adjustment (reductions)

CMS and ONC are aiming to push this ruling to help support the new delivery and payment reform by facilitating and increasing the adoption of electronic HIE. There also items within the request of information that discuss the possibility of incorporating improved access to protected health information (PHI) as part of the measures for Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (CAHPS) scores.

Another option outlined was the possibility of using the Blue Button initiative to provide easy access to electronic PHI.

“CMS could promote the use of Blue Button. The Blue Button provides easy electronic access to personal health information for consumers. To strengthen its success, ONC released guidelines for data holders and application developers that support the growth of an ecosystem of tools to help consumers manage their health.”

It is clear, without a doubt, that providers have increased their adoption of electronic medical records. The next logical push should be sharing and collaborating on care. And while States are looking to roll out their HIEs, CMS and ONC are looking for ways to engage and encourage the adoption of HIEs through incentive programs and payment adjustments that have previously shown positive signs in influencing and increasing adoption.

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