Friday, March 13, 2015

Draft bill aims to improve interoperability

PARCA eNews – Mar. 13, 2015 – Draft legislation was circulated last week entitled Ensuring Interoperability of Qualified Health Records aimed at enhancing nationwide progress toward interoperabiltiy.  It defines interoperability as a qualified electronic health record that must satisfy the following criteria: open access, complete access to health data, does not block access to other qualified electronic health records, and asks for additional recommendations. Among its provisions, the bill:
  • Establishes a “Charter Organization” to determine measures to see if systems qualify as interoperable but allows Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to adopt different methods than those recommended by the Charter Organization
  • Directs the HHS Secretary to rely on the recommendations of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and consult with appropriate Federal and State agencies and private organizations.  
  • Provides the HHS Inspector General authority to investigate claims of vendors in violation of an attestation; and health care providers with respect to the use of such records under a specified Medicare incentive program.  Different penalty options are still being reviewed.
  • Defines certified EHR technology as a qualified electronic health record that are applicable to the type of record involved as determined by the Secretary beginning January 1, 2018.
  • Defines widespread interoperability on a nationwide basis as qualified electronic health records that are interoperable, in accordance with section 3010.

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