EHR Matters 01-06-10

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Category: EHR Matters
Date: January 6, 2010
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Hello, I’m Lindsay Pine and this is EHR Matters for Wednesday, January 6th.

The CCHIT has named three appointees and five new commissioners to its board of trustees. The nine-member board of trustees has fiduciary responsibility for the not-for-profit organization. They provide leadership for fiscal oversight, organizational strategy, evaluation of senior management, and resolution of any conflicts of interest. Trustees serve three-year staggered terms.
The board of commissioners guides and approves the work of the voluntary work groups and staff as they develop certification criteria, inspection processes and policy.

The commission solicited applications from senior executives representing a wide range of stakeholders across the public and private sectors of healthcare and health IT. Commissioners serve two-year terms on the 21-member board.
CCHIT still has an important seat to fill, as it continues to search for a new chair following Dr. Mark Leavitt's, Nov. 13 announcement of retirement.

In other news…the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that Medicaid programs in seven states. Each will receive federal matching funds for state planning activities necessary to implement the EHR incentive program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
ARRA provides a 90% federal match for state planning activities to administer the incentive payments to Medicaid providers, and promote interoperability and meaningful use of EHR technology. The awards range from approximately 200,000 to nearly $6 million.
Iowa was the first state to receive the matching funds. California, Georgia, Idaho, Montana, New York, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands are next in line to receive the funds. The states will use the money to assess the current status of health IT activities within its borders and identify barriers towards meaningful use of EHRs. Funds will additionally be used to determine provider eligibility for EHR incentive payments and the creation of a State Medicaid HIT Plan.

Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations at CMS said:
“We congratulate (the states) for qualifying for these federal matching funds to assist its plan for implementing the Recovery Act’s EHR incentive program. Meaningful and interoperable use of EHRs in Medicaid will increase healthcare efficiency, reduce medical errors and improve quality-outcomes and patient satisfaction within and across the states.”

And lastly, results of a new European Commission study found that positive returns on investments in Health IT can take up to 11 years. EHRs and e-prescribing are beneficial to society, but require initial investment to prove their long-term value.
A socio-economic analysis showed the societal gains of interoperable EHRs and e-prescribing systems eventually exceed the costs of implementing the technology, but this can take a considerable amount of time.

The study found it takes at least 4 - and more often up to 9 years before initiatives produce their first positive annual socio-economic return. It takes 6 to 11 years until a cumulative net benefit can be realized. Due to the complex environment of EHR and e-prescribing systems, longer time scales are generally associated with lower risk of failure. As stated in the report: "EHRs and e-prescribing are not quick wins, they are sustainable wins.”

I’m Lindsay Pine and this has been EHR Matters-
Thanks for watching.

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