State Health Data Exchanges Call for Changes to ‘Meaningful Use’

A group of 13 state health information exchanges has sent a comment letter calling for CMS to recognize health care providers who already participate in data exchanges as meeting the data exchange requirements for “meaningful use.” of electronic health records, Health Data Management reports.

Federal officials have proposed regulations describing how health care providers can demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs to qualify for incentive payments under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package.

In its letter, the coalition said its proposed rule adjustment would promote participation in existing health data exchange networks.

The coalition also recommended that CMS allow states to impose state-specific meaningful use requirements that health care providers would need to fulfill to receive incentive payments through Medicaid.

Members of the coalition include health data exchange organizations from:

  • California;
  • Colorado;
  • Delaware;
  • Maine;
  • Maryland;
  • Michigan;
  • Missouri;
  • Nebraska;
  • New York;
  • Rhode Island;
  • Tennessee;
  • Texas; and
  • Vermont

In related news, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives also sent CMS a comment letter expressing its concerns about the timeline for certification of EHR systems, Health Data Management reports.

In its letter, CHIME said it supported the establishment of both temporary and permanent EHR certification programs. However, the group said it is uncertain whether EHR products will be able to complete the certification process in time for health care providers to receive incentive payments.

CHIME recommended that officials design the temporary certification program based on current certification strategies. The group also called for the permanent certification program be integrated with the temporary scheme.

source: health data management