Nearly half of U.S. hospitals eligible for an incentive payment through the Medicare electronic health record program received one in fiscal 2012. The 2,291 hospitals that received a total of $3.5 billion in Medicare EHR incentive payments was up from 777 hospitals and $1.3 billion in fiscal 2011.
The Veterans Affairs Department has rolled out a suite of apps for clinicians and patients that pull information from the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture electronic health record. Among the patient-facing apps is a secure messaging tool for communicating with doctors and nurses, but soon it plans to take that tool a step further and begin communicating visually with the patient.
Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched a new eHealth Imitative, headed by Robert Tagalicod, director of the office of e-Health Standards and Services. The initiative's goal is to align health IT efforts and standards program with a focus that goes beyond the electronic health record incentive program.
Despite the fact that Defense Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Frank Kendall said there's a one-in-five chance the DoD will select a VistA-based technology for its electronic health record, the odds of the department making such a selection are hurt by a 2011 Gartner report (.pdf) commissioned by the VA and obtained by FierceGovernmentIT.
An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014 (H.R. 1960), which passed June 14, would impose reporting requirements on the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments' integrated electronic health record project, as well as stand up an advisory panel to provide additional oversight.
During a July 10 joint hearing of the House Veterans Affairs and Armed Services Committees, VA and Defense Department officials laid out plans to continue pursuing two separate electronic health record solutions with the ability to interoperate in the "near term." This plan, according to a congressional source, has the approval of Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel.
The House Veterans Affairs Committee held a closed-door meeting May 23 to discuss progress toward a VA and Defense Department integrated electronic health record. Officials were "grilled" as lawmakers pressed for answers on the project, said one attendee. "They read McGrath the riot act," said a source speaking on the condition of anonymity.
More than half of the nation's eligible healthcare professionals and 80 percent of hospitals received incentive payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for adoption and Meaningful Use of certified electronic health record technology to improve patient care, finds a new report.
The new, Defense Health Agency-based office will pursue a DoD core solution independent of the Veterans Affairs-DoD interagency program office that was once tasked with jointly developing an integrated electronic health record for both departments, according to a memo obtained by FierceGovernmentIT. "Our intent is to collaborate with the VA on any necessary changes to the IPO Charter and Joint Strategic Plan," writes DoD acquisition czar Frank Kendall
A report (.pdf) accompanying the fiscal 2014 defense appropriations bill, which the committee approved June 12, says the current approach announced by departmental secretaries in February replaces the goal of a single, common EHR with the "as-of-yet unattainable goal of interoperability."