Health IT

“How much should we spend on IT?” I have been asked this seemingly simple question for more than 30 years. The answer has always been the same. It depends on what you want to get back.

Outside a select number of health IT physician experts who have advised government bodies and companies developing telemedicine and electronic health record (EHR) products, most physicians have been in a reactionary mode as health IT has advanced. At the 2014 American Medical Association (AMA) Annual Meeting, the members approved two sets of recommendations that seek to take back some of the health IT leadership role they ceded in the years watching from the sidelines.

Outdated government policies are holding Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) back from making better use of technology to lower cost while simultaneously improving care say no less than 70 individual companies, institutions and groups in three separate letters sent to incoming U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of National Coordinator (ONC) has taken the brunt of criticism by health information technology (HIT) stakeholders, legislators and industry experts as to why, with millions in taxpayer dollars spent on incentives to encourage the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), better HIT is still not saving the nation much money.

Move over MRs and CTs, surgical robots and new facilities. According to Premier Inc.’s spring 2014 Economic Outlook C-suite survey, this year’s top investment priority for the healthcare C-suite crowd is healthcare information technology (HIT).

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), it was able to accept nearly all of the more than 127,000 ICD-10 test claims submitted by approximately 2,600 providers, suppliers, billing companies and claims clearinghouses who participated in its test in early March.

With only a fraction of hospitals and eligible professionals being ready to report for the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs using the 2014 certified EHR technology criteria (aka, Meaningful Use Stage 2), the administration has issued a proposed policy to allow reporting using Stage 1 criteria for one more year.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has selected the non-profit American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for a second three-year term as the ONC-Approved Accreditor (ONC-AA) for the ONC Health Information Technology (HIT) Certification Program.

Meaningful Use bashing is no longer just for the healthcare providers and electronic health record (EHR) system developers. Experts who’ve been involved in the creation of the government’s EHR adoption incentive program and other industry watchers are now also calling for changes.

The Washington, D.C.-based think tank the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation issued a report this week that highlighted important regulatory and policy changes that need to be made to fully realize the potential cost savings of telehealth services.

A user error that made the personal health information of 6,800 Columbia University Medical Center patients accessible on internet search engines will cost the hospital and its partner Columbia University Medical Center $4.8 million.

A user error that made the personal health information of 6,800 Columbia University Medical Center patients accessible on internet search engines will cost the hospital and its partner Columbia University Medical Center $4.8 million.