Among other things, the HITECH Act, which became effective last month, includes Medicare incentives for the "meaningful use" of certified electronic health records systems. Except the act doesn't really define "meaningful use." and the Department of Health and Human Services has only issued interim guidelines to this point.
Back in May , the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery advised clients to, among other things, seek legal counsel on the requirements of "meaningful use" and set a time frame for achieving such use by the deadline, contract with the vendor that the system can be used in a way that meets the "meaningful" requirements, and obtain contractual commitments that the vendor will meet all certification requirements.
Wednesday, the federal government's CTO, Aneesh Chopra, spoke to Web 2.0 Summit attendees about reducing health care costs and increasing health care quality with IT. InformationWeek reports:
On Oct. 29, the Department of Health and Human Services' Health IT Standards Committee is hosting a one-day workshop on adopting standards, which will be webcast, and then will set up a two-week online forum to engage the public and health care industry with a structured dialog.
Chopra also said HHS would be releasing its final standard of "meaningful use" in December.