Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

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Proposed HHS Rules Take Aim at Nationwide Interoperability

- Two rules proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) are instrumental to achieving nationwide interoperability, according to the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

“The flow of information is fundamental to achieving a health system that delivers better care, smarter spending, and healthier people," HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said last week. "The steps we are taking today will help to create more transparency on cost and quality information, bring electronic health information to inform care and decision making, and support population health."

The CMS proposed rule contains Stage 3 Meaningful Use requirements. This last phase of the EHR Incentive Programs will be optional in 2017 and mandatory for all eligible providers in 2018. It comprises eight objectives with no less than two measures necessary for satisfying each.

“This Stage 3 proposed rule does three things: it helps simplify the meaningful use program, advances the use of health IT toward our vision for improving health delivery, and further aligns the program with other quality and value programs,” claimed Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, CMS.

The ONC proposed rule sets EHR and health IT certification criteria for the 2015 Edition and aims to support the federal agency's own efforts in implementing a ten-year nationwide interoperability roadmap.

“The certification criteria we have proposed in the 2015 Edition will help achieve that vision through provisions that consider the range of health IT users and uses across the care continuum, including those focused on interoperable standards, data portability, improved transparency, privacy and security capabilities, and increased oversight through ONC’s Health IT Certification Program," National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, explained.

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