Health Information Management

Definition of meaningful use one step closer to adoption

HIM-HIPAA Insider, July 28, 2009

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On July 16, the Health Information Technology Policy Committee adopted a revised definition of meaningful use that CMS will use to draft a proposed rule. The revised definition provides hospitals and physicians with greater flexibility related to adopting certain elements, such as computerized physician order entry (CPOE), stating that providers must use CPOE for all orders (e.g., medication, laboratory, procedure, diagnostic imaging, immunization, and referral) during 2011 but that electronic interfaces to receiving entities are not required during the time.

Other good news is the committee proposes that health information technology objectives be based on adoption year rather than specifically in either 2011 or 2012, allowing a more relaxed timeline for providers who haven’t yet embarked on an EHR implementation.

The revised definition also includes more detailed information related to 2011 proposed quality measures that focus on data capture and sharing. Finally, it includes language regarding adequate privacy and security protection for personal health information, adding that CMS should withhold meaningful use payment for any entity until any confirmed HIPAA privacy or security violation has been resolved. 

CMS must issue a final definition of meaningful use no later than December 31.

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