Home Health & Hospice

CMS extends deadline for postacute care HIT survey; tech experts hold briefing on Capitol Hill

Homecare Insider, March 9, 2015

After considering a number of stakeholder requests, CMS has extended the deadline for long-term postacute care (LTPAC) providers to take its health information technology (HIT) survey until April 3, 2015. The survey was originally slated to close last Tuesday.

CMS first released its voluntary HIT survey last month for providers in the LTPAC sector (i.e., home health, skilled nursing, long-term care hospital, and inpatient rehabilitation settings) to better understand how their practices intersect with HIT.
 
Specifically, CMS seeks to gauge if and how providers in this domain have begun using HIT (e.g.,  electronic health information exchange and electronic health records) to fuel coordinated care transitions and support their clinical care services, even in the absence of direct financial incentives. In addition, the agency hopes to learn more about both the benefits and barriers to adoption.
 
“I think the survey will be very important in updating our understanding of the technology that’s being used and how it’s being used in this sector,” a CMS official tells HCPro.
 
CMS’ decision to extend the survey completion deadline comes on the heels of a Capitol Hill briefing about the ability of HIT adoption to foster care coordination, drive value-based payment, and support quality outcomes throughout LTPAC.
 
The briefing, entitled “Adopting Information Technologies for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care: Achieving Continuity,” was held by a panel composed of experts from prominent federal agencies and trade associations across LTPAC, including the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), the American Health Care Association, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Foundation’s Institute for e-Health Policy, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The session is part of a series of educational programs sponsored by the Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics.
 
In addition to discussing the widespread benefits of technology adoption, experts pointed to specific ways providers in the LTPAC realm are using HIT tools to better communicate with accountable care organizations and health plans, participate in bundled payment arrangements, and facilitate innovative practices like telehealth usage in homes.
 
To read NAHC’s press release about the recent HIT briefing on Capitol Hill, click here.
 
To access CMS’ HIT survey for LTPAC providers, click here.
 
For HCPro’s previous coverage of the home health technology landscape, click here, and see the July 2014 issue of Homecare DIRECTION.