Waiting Room – 1/5/11

As everyone is still detailing their new year resolution, I thought some news of what’s to come was in order. The waiting is over and the EHR Incentive Program has begun. Stage 1 kicked off this week without a hitch. Or I guess that is true. I didn’t read anything to the contrary. I will check on that for you, now what are we waiting for?

Dr. Blumenthal talks 2010 accomplishments and what’s in store for 2011 in an interview with by Kate Ackerman of iHealthBeat. It looks like next winter before any formal NPR on Stage 2 which make a final rule in the spring of 2012 at the earliest. Read the full interview.

The HHS semi-annual regulatory update was published in the Federal Register before the end of the year. The update states that the deadline for final rule on modifications to HIPAA privacy, security, and enforcement rules will be in March. The rule will modify these rules to comply with provisions of the HITECH Act. It also looks like HHS will propose rules for a unique identification system for medical devices around June of this year.

The January 5th HIT Policy Committee meeting was cancelled so the next on will be on February 2nd. No information on the meeting is currently posted. The next HIT Standards Committee meeting is scheduled for January 12th. Meetings are open to the public via in person on web conferencing.  Both committee workgroups have a full schedule working on details for Stage 2 Meaningful Use.

Just a quick note about HIMSS 11 because we are going to be there! The mega conference will descend on Orlando February 20-24, 2011. We will have more on this later as we prepare our schedules. We would love to meet you so let us know if you are attending.

And better late than never I say. The waiting is over, ONC finally comes to the party and weighs in on one of my top pet peeves of HIT. Yes Virginia there is a difference between EMR and EHR. The fact that the ONC and all the rules relating to HIT adoption never mention the term EMR (unless someone is commenting and using incorrectly), still wasn’t enough for the industry to get it right. Read the EHR/EMR Difference in the HealthIT Buzz. Thank you Peter and Joshua.

Happy New Year from all of us at HITECH Answers.

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