The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Please don’t air our dirty laundry!

Before running the summative usability evaluation for §170.314(g)(3) Safety-enhanced design we recommend that EHR vendors begin working with a usability expert to identify possible usability issues before they are exposed as “dirty laundry” in a formal report.

EHR usability Gap - Specified Context of Use

The efficient and effective use of Electronic Health Records are essential, as these systems are increasingly becoming a central tool for patient care.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act provided providers with a significant financial incentive to increase the adoption and use of EHRs. EHR vendors were required to conduct and report on a summative usability evaluation of their system as part of the Stage 2 Meaningful Use program (The ONC 2014 Edition Certification). However, a recent report funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), identified several “issues” with the certified EHR vendors in the processes, practices and use of standards and best practices with regard to usability and human factors.

ONC Final Rule for 2015 Certification Criteria: Safety-enhanced design

The final rule for the ONC 2015 certification has been released.

The 550+ page document identifies a number of changes from the previously published proposed rule in direct response to a number of comments provided to ONC.

CMS Encourages Home Health Agencies To Adopt Health IT

CMS issued a proposed rule for the 2016 Medicare home health prospective payment system that encourages home health agencies to accelerate their adoption of health IT, Health Data Management reports (Goedert, Health Data Management, 7/8).

Details of Proposed Rule

According to AHA News, the proposed rule would reduce home health payments by 1.8% from 2015 levels (AHA News, 7/6). The proposal also would impose a value-based purchasing model on all Medicare-certified home health agencies in nine states as part of a pilot program.

In addition, the proposal would:

  • Enforce a 1.72 percentage point cut in calendar year 2016 and CY 2017 to the standardized 60-day episode payment rate (Health Data Management, 7/8); and
  • Establish the third year of a four-year "rebasing" of the standardized 60-day home care episode rate in an effort to recover overpayments (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 7/7).

Health IT Implications

Citing the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's interoperability roadmap and the draft 2015 Interoperability Standards Advisory, CMS in its proposed rule encourages home health agencies to use electronic health records and health information exchange (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 7/7).

CMS notes that doing so would result in greater success for the organizations, adding that "effective adoption and use of health information exchange and health IT tools will be essential as these settings seek to improve quality and lower costs through initiatives such as value-based purchasing."

The agency adds, "As adoption of certified health IT increases and interoperability standards continue to mature, HHS will seek to reinforce standards through relevant policies and programs" (Health Data Management, 7/8).

Source: iHealthBeat, Wednesday, July 8, 2015