AHA urges CMS/ONC to fully implement existing health IT efforts

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Rather than engage in additional regulation to advance health information exchange and interoperability, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should fully implement both meaningful use and the new payment and delivery models and other programs already underway that provide incentives for information exchange and monitor their results, AHA said in comments submitted Friday to CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. In addition, AHA urged ONC to “re-double its efforts to remove barriers to interoperability and support the development of a robust infrastructure for health information exchange.” Responding to the agencies’ March 7 public request for information on a wide range of possible new regulatory mechanisms, AHA Vice President and Deputy Director of Policy Ashley Thompson said AHA “greatly appreciates the intention behind the RFI and is committed to development of a health care system where the best information is available to support the best possible care and engage patients. However, by asking a series of questions about regulatory levers, the RFI wrongly suggests that additional regulatory requirements are necessary to advance interoperability and the electronic exchange of health information.”

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