Hospitals, Consumer Groups Have Postive View Of 'Stage 2' Health IT Rules

Both hospital and consumer groups are reacting positively to new federal rules meant to improve the effective use of the technology, and new electronic health records certification rules are released.

CQ HealthBeat: Hospitals, Consumers Give Cautious Thumbs Up To IT Proposal
Hospital and consumer groups for the most part reacted favorably Monday to two Obama administration regulatory proposals to improve the quality and safety of medical treatment through more effective use of health information technology. Hospitals praised the long-awaited "stage two" proposed rules to spur "meaningful use" of IT for providing a flexible approach. Meanwhile, a consumer group said the stage two proposals will increase online patient access to their own medical data and ease e-mail communication with their doctors (Reichard, 2/27).

Modern Healthcare: Proposed New EHR Certification Rules Released
While most of the attention in the health information technology industry last week was focused on the newly proposed Stage 2 standards that providers would have to meet to achieve meaningful use of electronic health-record systems, a companion proposed rule affecting EHR vendors and the organizations that test and certify them also was made public. ... The ONC-developed rule sets the standards that EHRs must meet to become certified and thus eligible for use by hospitals, physicians and other qualifying professionals seeking to become meaningful users and receive federal EHR incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid programs created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Conn, 2/27).

In other technology news -

Florida Public Media: How Telemedicine Works At Home
Every morning at 10:00 a.m., congestive heart failure patient Marilyn Yeats of Naples conducts her own health checkup with the help of a computer. ... Yeats is part of a pilot program through Humana Cares. The insurance company is targeting patients with congestive heart failure in efforts to manage their symptoms and reduce their hospital readmissions (Mack, 2/27).

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