Week of May 24, 2010 A Towers Watson analysis of the new health care reform law released last week shows that the “Cadillac plan” excises tax will likely impact more than 60 percent of large employers by the provision's 2018 effective date. The provision was intended originally to penalize employers with rich health benefits plans, but the end result clearly [...]
The whistleblower provisions in ARRA pose significant risk to those persons or entities receiving money under the HITECH Act provisions of ARRA. Those at risk include entities receiving grants and loans from the federal government under the HITECH Act to assist them in the implementation of electronic health record (“EHR”) technology.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, formed in 2004 as kind of a bully pulpit to rally the troops behind health IT, has widened its responsibilities over time. First there was Dr. David Brailer's strategic roadmap for getting interoperable EHRs to most Americans within a decade. Then there were the contracts [...]
On March 24, 2010 the Office of the Federal Register made an Interim Final Rule (IFR) on Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) available. This IFR contains rules that health care providers will need to follow to prescribe controlled substances electronically in accordance with the law. The Interim Final Rule [...]
CALIFORNIA: The Assembly Health Committee voted 15-0 last week to pass a bill that would require health plans and insurers to fully reimburse physicians for the direct and indirect costs of acquiring and administering vaccines. The bill would define costs to include the cost of administration for the vaccine, storage and refrigeration of the immunizations, clinical staff time, [...]
OHIP is a nonprofit that was established last year by the state. It has about $43 million in federal and state funding to help accomplish two key health information technology goals. First, the organization will help set up a health information exchange (HIE), which is essentially a state-wide computer network that will allow hospitals and doctors’ offices to easily share patients’ health information. Second, OHIP will help doctors acquire, implement and learn how to use the electronic health records (EHR) systems that will be the backbone of the exchange.
Leading the effort–for now–is Amy Andres, OHIP’s chairman and the Ohio Department of Insurance’s chief of staff. Andres was likely chosen for the role because of her background in government, health and information technology. She led the pharmacy benefits management business for Chicago-based electronic prescribing company AllScripts, and held positions with CVS ProCare and IT consulting firm Sarcom. She also worked as the CIO for the Ohio Department of Education.
In the April issue of Health Affairs, David Brailer, MD, former head of ONC, conductedan informative Q&A with current ONC chief, David Blumenthal, MD. It was a nice blending of the beginning of ONC and its vision, and the build out of that vision. Brailer, who has walked the walk of Blumenthal, asked insightful questions.
Today in the state of New York, a pack-a-day smoker spends $250 of his disposable income each month and destroys his health in the process. He then seeks medical insurance and finds it “too expensive” — after all, insurance is a form of sharing risk and his is a risky and expensive future — and then he cries out to the political leaders of his country for medical coverage regardless of “pre-existing conditions.” Other examples of self-destructive behavior can easily be substituted.
Over the past year the House and the Senate have been working on an effort to provide health insurance reform that lowers costs, guarantees choices, and enhances quality health care for all Americans.
* Read the text of the Senate bill and the changes passed by the House.
So here is a little extract of some of the “new programs” that will be created through recent health care “reform.” 1. Grant program for consumer assistance offices (Section 1002, p. 37) 2. Grant program for states to monitor premium increases (Section 1003, p. 42) 3. Committee to review administrative simplification standards (Section 1104, p. 71) 4. Demonstration program [...]
Office of the Governor JRTC, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 16-100 Chicago, Illinois 60601 Pat Quinn Governor September 11, 2009 David Blumenthal, MD, MPP National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC 20201 E-mail Dear Dr. Blumenthal: The State of Illinois intends to submit an application [...]
No sooner had President Obama signed the last piece of the health care reform package on March 30 than he hit the road, traveling to a number of states to sell the public on the new health care law of the land. On their Easter/Passover recess break, many members of Congress were engaged in their own hearts and minds campaign on health reform back in their home districts. A new Gallup poll, however, seems to show that Democratic supporters of the bill have the tougher selling job. The poll shows that 47 percent of Americans believe it is a good thing that the bill passed while 50 percent believe it to be a bad thing. And, the results show that both opponents and proponents agree that the new law does not do nearly enough to address rising health care costs. Health plans have maintained that the success of health care reform will hinge on addressing health care costs, and we have pledged to continue working toward reforms that would achieve affordability.
Content written and reprinted from searchhealthit.com Two organizations currently have a hand in health IT certification. The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology, or CCHIT, looks at the software itself, while The Joint Commission examines health IT in the larger context of providing quality health care. However, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical [...]
Health Information Technology Extension Program The HITECH Act authorizes a Health Information Technology Extension Program. The extension program consists of Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (RECs) and a national Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC). The RECs will offer technical assistance, guidance, and information to support and accelerate health care providers’ efforts to become [...]
So, Brian Ahler at healthsystemcio.com reports having a brief chat with Dr. David Blumenthal last week that covered:
* Transparency at the ONC
* HITREC and communities of shared learning
* Personal Health Records and possible certification
* Rural practices and Critical Access Hospitals