Providers Will Be Held to Strict Standards on Electronic Health Records

HHS will allow hospitals to adopt electronic health records in multiple stages.  David Blumenthal, the Obama administration’s health information technology czar, recently told a House subcommittee that providers will be held to stricter standards over the adoption and use of electronic health records (EHR).   “We have every intent in the next rule-making, in 2013, to require much more robust exchange as a feature of meaningful use,” Blumenthal, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) national coordinator for health IT, said while testifying before a House Ways and Means Committee’s health subcommittee.

According to Blumenthal, the meaningful-use criteria allow providers to adopt EHR in multiple stages.  Each step is increasingly demanding.  “The fact is, we are going to make substantially higher demands of providers in the future,” Blumenthal said.  Representative Wally Herger (R-CA) said “The new HIT regulations are a step in the right direction and should put Medicare on a path to improved quality and efficiency.  However, by watering down the final regulations, we have missed an opportunity to advance healthcare delivery and ensure wise use of taxpayer money.”

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