Don Rucker, MD, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) said his agency has been focused on improving usability and interoperability of electronic health records, adding that while blockchain technology may provide some interesting capabilities but it’s too soon to issue regulations on it.

A study published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth includes a list of five recommendations for improving mHealth utilization for adolescents with chronic conditions. The researched aimed at improving disease self-management in adolescents by utilizing mHealth technology for real-time care.

While clinicians may be confused or frustrated with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), professionals in health information management should see it as “nothing but positive” and embrace it, according to Bonnie Cassidy, MPA, principal of advisory services at nThrive and former president and chair of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Embracing artificial intelligence (AI) technology is “a necessity” for the health IT industry, according to Harold “Hal” Wolf III, the next president and CEO of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

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).