Healthcare and Medical News from around the Internet 5-18-2012

Welcome to another weekly edition of Healthcare News from around the Web brought to you by HealthFusion® MediTouch®. This week, EHR and data security as well as Stage 2 of Meaningful Use were hot topics across the healthcare landscape.

  • First off, HealthFusion hopes everyone had a wonderful National Women’s Health Week! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have compiled a list of resources on various health topics in women’s health.
  • Many providers still have questions about Meaningful Use, but according to a recent blog post by EHR Intelligence, “There will never be a better time to implement a (EHR) system.” “The government’s meaningful use program provides an unprecedented opportunity for physicians to claim financial incentives for using an Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology that could have many benefits for their practice.” Although there may still be some confusion over the Meaningful Use Stage 2 proposed rules, EHRs are here to stay, and now is the best time to implement due to the government’s monetary incentives.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is still weighing comments, but many providers are concerned that Meaningful Use Stage 2 may potentially cripple their practice with the implementation of too many new requirements at one time. The Meaningful Use Stage 2 proposed rule that seems to concern providers most is the mandatory use of a patient portal to communicate with patients for a certain percentage. Many EHRs currently lack this functionality, which naturally worries providers, but HealthFusion is prepared and has been using the YourHealthFile® Patient Portal for some time. We have confidence that CMS will heed our comments on the proposed rules (Meaningful Use Stage 2 Proposed Rules Open Comment Period — HealthFusion® MediTouch® Comments and Meaningful Use Stage 2 NPRM for Health Information Technology Comments by HealthFusion® MediTouch®), but rest assured HealthFusion will be prepared as usual for any Meaningful Use rules that go into effect.
  • EHR and HIPAA data security is another concern of CMS that will likely be addressed in Meaningful Use Stage 2. A recent post in the Boston Business Journal stated that expected changes to the law in coming months will hold high-tech companies that deal with health data, like EHR vendors, liable for any data breaches under the HIPAA security statute. Several companies have already faced legal action due to their loss or mishandling of sensitive patient data, and that number is sure to increase as HIPAA and CMS conduct stricter monitoring of data exchange during Meaningful Use Stage 2.
  • The healthcare landscape is constantly changing from week to week, be sure to check in with HealthFusion’s EHR blog every Friday to see what’s new.