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Policy

 

Embracing artificial intelligence (AI) technology is “a necessity” for the health IT industry, according to Harold “Hal” Wolf III, the next president and CEO of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 was introduced to increase the rate of integration of electronic health records (EHRs). In a recent study, published by Health Affairs, researchers analyze if the bill was able to increase EHR adoption.

Having a strong first line of defense is key in any battle—and the same goes for the fight for cybersecurity. A recent newsletter released by HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) urges healthcare organizations to arm their employees with knowledge in order to prevent cyberattacks.

In response to the opioid epidemic, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, MA, PhD, R-Pennsylvania, has introduced the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety (OPPS) Act, which allows physicians to review patient information regarding previous addiction treatment through electronic health records (EHRs).

The proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) rule would provide a boost in reimbursement to telehealth services, paying for several new services and codes.

 

Recent Headlines

Senate blocks restrictions on medical research funding in defense budget

The Senate voted 66-32 in favor a budget amendment to nullify a proposal to place restrictions on the more than $1 billion in medical research funded annually through the defense budget.

AMIA asks for new approach on ONC interoperability standards

Measuring interoperability as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) calls for a “patient-centric” and flexible strategy, wrote the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA).

FDA approves first implant to treat opioid dependence

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first buprenorphine implant, Probuphine, to treat addiction to both prescription and illegal opioids.

Data security framework released for Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative

The final version of the policy principles governing data security efforts within President Barack Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) has been released.

 
Experts weigh in on elevating CISO within HHS to improve cybersecurity

Several data security experts testified before a congressional panel in favor of a House proposal to elevate HHS’s chief information security officer (CISO) to a separate office, while one expressed concerns about making the office a presidential appointment.

Minn. county complains about cost of 'ineffective' IT system

Hennepin County, the most populous county in Minnesota, said it will be forced to hire 92 new employees because of new requirements involving the MNSure health insurance exchange, which the county labels “an ineffective system,” reported the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Telemedicine may take advantage of Supreme Court ruling on med boards

Individual members of state medical boards can be sued for antitrust violations thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, which has now led to at least five such suits against health licensing boards across the country,

CMS: Small, rural practices can ‘soon’ apply for $100M in technical MACRA assistance

Seeking to ease the fears for small and rural practices of being penalized under the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), CMS plans to soon release its request for proposals for the $100 million in technical assistance provided for those practices.

ONC outlines plans for data standards, big data analytics in budget request

Four legislative proposals aimed at improving the exchange of electronic health information have been included in the 2017 budget request by the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

NH, AZ join interstate licensing compact

The two states have enacted legislation adopting the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and another three may soon be joining.

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