Tracking Clinical Conditions and Coordinating Care

A proposed regulation issued Dec. 30 by CMS outlines more than 20 electronic health records standards that hospitals and providers must meet next year in order to qualify for the incentive payments. These objectives focus on electronically capturing health information in a coded format, using that information to track key clinical conditions and coordinate care, and reporting clinical quality measures to the federal government or states.

The American Hospital Association contends the proposed rules are too stringent, and would penalize many hospitals that already are using health information technology to reduce medication errors, track outcomes and collect basic patient health information.

“As proposed, the current regulations may actually make it more difficult for hospitals and doctors to adopt health information technology,” said Rick Pollack, the association’s executive vice president. “Unless significant changes are made and timelines re-examined, it is unlikely that the vast majority of hospitals can meet the proposed standards.”

Pollack said the proposed regulation’s definition of “meaningful use” of electronic health records “is a worthy goal, but it should be a destination point, not a starting point.”

The Medical Group Management Association, which represents doctors’ group practices, expressed similar concerns.

Original article at Washington Business Journal

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