A joint statement, by the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Principal Deputy Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, was issued at a forum, “Accelerating Electronic Health Records Adoption and Meaningful Use.”
“The goal of achieving widespread adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records by 2014 is established in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH), part of the American recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The HITECH Act directs the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to administer an incentive payments program that will make available significant bonus payments to eligible health care providers who adopt and demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHR). In addition, the HITECH Act provides for leadership and support for EHR adoption and use through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
“On July 13, final regulations were announced by CMS and ONC that define the incentive payments program, the meaningful use requirements for Stage 1 of the program, and the standards and certification requirements for certified EHR systems.
“However, the CMS and ONC regulations establish only the parameters of the federal program. The public and private sectors can and must collaborate in furthering the goal of creating a 21st century electronic health information system in the United States.
“For that reason we are pleased and encouraged by today’s announcement of significant initial steps by organizations across the spectrum of health care to support HITECH’s goal of furthering the meaningful use of certified EHRs. These entities include providers, payers and professional licensure bodies. The individual programs announced today show both an appreciation of the challenges we face as well as initiative and creativity in applying the resources of these organizations toward meeting our goals. The actions announced today are also built on the meaningful use structure, which provides alignment of our national efforts toward coherent technology adoption and toward improved health and health care goals.