HHS Softens Stage 2 Meaningful Use Standards For Electronic Health Records
In other health information technology news, the American Hospital Association has suggested modifications to Federal Communication Commission's Rural Health Care Pilot Program.
Politico Pro: Stage 2 Softens Electronic Record Standards
HHS has pared down how much providers will depend on patients to meet the second-stage requirements of the multi-billion program to encourage the use of electronic health records. HHS released the final rule for Stage 2 of its meaningful-use program on Thursday, addressing a number of concerns that had been raised since the agency put out the proposed rule in May. It also finalized an accommodation to hospitals and doctors who said it would have been hard to gear up for an expanded set of reporting requirements in 2014. The initiative was already a year behind the original schedule (Norman, 8/23).
Modern Healthcare: AHA Urges Changes To Rural Internet Program
The American Hospital Association is urging modifications to an "underutilized" rural Internet access program run by the Federal Communications Commission.The AHA's suggestions for the FCC's Rural Health Care Pilot Program came in response to revisions the agency is considering (PDF) to the six-year-old program, which includes 2,107 individual rural and urban providers in 38 states and three territories. The program aimed to provide an infrastructure for letting rural healthcare providers—individually and through multiple-provider consortiums—build networks connecting them to their urban counterparts (Daly, 8/23).