The interagency program office set up by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to oversee creation of a joint electronic health record will continue to press forward with the adoption, acquisition or development of medical applications for use by both departments, outgoing VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker said.
In a Feb. 22 blog posting, Mike O'Neill, OSEHRA board member and senior advisor to the director of the VA's Innovation Initiative, states that VA is "obviously not a vendor and wouldn't prepare or submit a traditional proposal-based RFI response," emphasizing that OSEHRA's "paper is not meant to replace or duplicate any other responses."
In a Feb. 5 joint press conference with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said the two departments will choose a "core set of iEHR capabilities no later than March of 2013" and will agree on a set of standardized healthcare data no later than this December. "Rather than building a single integrated system from scratch, we will focus our immediate efforts on integrating VA and DoD health data as quickly as possible, by focusing on interoperability and using existing solutions," Panetta said.
The secretaries of the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments will meet Feb. 5 to likely approve a software development approach permitting the accelerated rollout of a joint electronic health record, VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker told reporters Wednesday.
The Veterans Affairs Department has begun a nationwide transition to paperless processing of disability claims at its regional offices and says it has addressed previous problems and slowdowns within the system. At the end of 2012, the VA had 900,121 disability claims in its backlog.
The original promise of health IT can still be met if systems are redesigned to become more standardized, easier to use, interoperable, and open and available to patients, Rand analysts say. But even if all that happens, the potential of health IT will remain untapped unless care providers rethink how they deliver IT-enabled care, "in the context of redesigned payment models that favor value over volume," they say.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking information from hospitals and vendors on their electronic health record readiness beginning in 2014 for EHR hospital inpatient quality data reporting, according to a Jan. 3 notice in the Federal Register.
Regional disparities exist in participation by eligible caregivers in Medicaid incentive payments for the adoption of electronic health records, says a Dec. 13 GAO report (.pdf). A third of eligible...
Lack of awareness and the need for additional innovation are among the barriers preventing the widespread use of electronic health-related tools among consumers, according to a new report (.pdf) from the Bipartisan Policy Center. The report also finds that the adoption of electronic tools among clinicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers is not widespread, despite their reducing costs and improving the quality and experience of care for patients.
Lacking documentation from medical providers that they actually make meaningful use of the electronic health record systems bought with federal subsidies, the Medicare program has left itself vulnerable to the possibility that providers aren't making full use of the systems, says the Health and Human Services Department office of inspector general.