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Policy

 

Don Rucker, MD, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) said his agency has been focused on improving usability and interoperability of electronic health records, adding that while blockchain technology may provide some interesting capabilities but it’s too soon to issue regulations on it.

While clinicians may be confused or frustrated with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), professionals in health information management should see it as “nothing but positive” and embrace it, according to Bonnie Cassidy, MPA, principal of advisory services at nThrive and former president and chair of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

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.

 

Recent Headlines

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.

Patients use ProPublica database to find painkiller prescriptions

The investigative news outlet announced its database to track the prescribing habits of doctors has been used by some to find addictive painkillers.

Cybersecurity experts conduct hacker test on medical devices

Cybersecurity experts tested the vulnerability of software and medical devices at a group of hospitals, and they found hacking into the healthcare system is a lot easier than expected, reports WUSA9.   
 

Missouri governor vetoes $500K bill for HIT

Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed a $500,000 bill that would’ve gone to a health information exchange program because he believes it would have favored one vendor over another.

GAO appoints three new members to Health IT Policy Committee

Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Gene L. Dodaro, has announced James S. Ferguson, Carolyn Petersen and Karen L. Caulil as the newest members on the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee. 

Senate bill aims to improve rural care through telehealth

New legislation introduced by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, would direct HHS to analyze a model of using telehealth to improve care in rural areas

Google given access to healthcare data of 1.6M patients

Artificial intelligence company DeepMind, owned by Google, has been given access to the healthcare data of 1.6 million patients from three hospitals, reports The Guardian.

Joint Commission reverses course, OKs secure clinician texting

The commission's update allows for clinician texting and messaging for “care, treatment, and services…across all accreditation programs.”

5,500+ new, revised ICD-10 codes in the works for 2017

More than 5,500 diagnosis and procedures codes will be added to the ICD-10 coding system for fiscal year 2017.

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