Policy

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 was introduced to increase the rate of integration of electronic health records (EHRs). In a recent study, published by Health Affairs, researchers analyze if the bill was able to increase EHR adoption.

Having a strong first line of defense is key in any battle—and the same goes for the fight for cybersecurity. A recent newsletter released by HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) urges healthcare organizations to arm their employees with knowledge in order to prevent cyberattacks.

In response to the opioid epidemic, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, MA, PhD, R-Pennsylvania, has introduced the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety (OPPS) Act, which allows physicians to review patient information regarding previous addiction treatment through electronic health records (EHRs).

The proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) rule would provide a boost in reimbursement to telehealth services, paying for several new services and codes.

Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, have introduced a bill to expand access to rural telehealth services. The “Reaching Underserved Rural Areas to Lead on Telehealth Act," or RURAL, would allow non-rural hospitals severing rural areas to qualify for support from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF).

Under President Donald Trump's proposed budget, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will lose $22 million in funding. The 36 percent reduction cuts the $60 million for ONC to $38 million in 2018.

Six U.S. Senators have introduced the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill that aims to extend telehealth services to Medicare patients to improve access and outcomes while reducing costs.

According to a recent string of tweets, Donald Rucker, who served as CMO of Siemens Healthcare for 13 years, will head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

Included in President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 is a big increase in what the medical device and pharmaceutical industries would pay the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to cover the costs of reviewing their products.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has released its External HIPAA Audit Readiness Toolkit to assist organizations in preparing for the upcoming Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Phase 2 audits. The toolkit includes Phase 2 aspects for covered entities, business associates and includes tips in meeting responsibilities.

In healthcare, social media is a much more serious affair than a few tweets and Instagram posts. The governance of such activity in healthcare is crucial in the protection of patient data and compliance with HIPAA. Nelly Jacobo, director of digital strategy at Cedars-Sinai, and Melody Smith Jones, manager of Connected Health at Perficient, discussed the four pillars of social media governance at HIMSS 2017.

A surgeon from Loyola Medicine has improved the 2016 guidelines for preventing surgical site infections (SSI) for the 300,000 patients in the United States affected each year.